Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook return to Blackhawks lineup vs. Rangers

Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook return to Blackhawks lineup vs. Rangers

NEW YORK – Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook will play when the Blackhawks face the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Toews (back), who missed nine games, was back on the Blackhawks’ top line, flanked by Ryan Hartman and Marian Hossa, at Tuesday morning’s skate. For Toews, it’s been a frustrating wait; he was hurt on Nov. 23, started skating early this month and then had to take time off before resuming skates again on Sunday morning.

“The last three days have been really good days where I really feel I got over the hump and feeling confident that I can go in and get contact in the game,” Toews said.

The Blackhawks went 5-2-2 in Toews’ absence, which didn’t surprise the captain.

“It’s always been one of the qualities that’s great about our team, resilience and guys are ready to step up and assume more responsibility,” Toews said. “Nice to see us get the goaltending, get the defensive play and win some of those tight games.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Coach Joel Quenneville said they’ll monitor Toews’ minutes, which will likely be down some.

“I don’t expect him to get 20 minutes like he’s accustomed to, but we’ll watch him on the special teams and see how that works out and how he’s handling it and how he’s playing, as well,” Quenneville said. “He’ll tell us basically how much he’s going to play tonight by how he’s doing.”

Seabrook (upper body) felt pretty good after skating on Sunday but still had to be cleared to play.

“This kind of injury, just gradually feeling better was the big thing and the last couple of days I felt really good,” said Seabrook. “I’ve been skating a few days. that wasn’t a problem. It was the other test I had to do and good to go.”

Scott Darling will start for the Blackhawks.

It’s the second time in five days the two teams have met. On Friday, former Blackhawks backup goaltender Antti Raanta recorded a 1-0 shutout. Raanta, who was named the league’s No. 2 star for the week, has two consecutive shutouts and will start again on Tuesday.



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Chicago Blackhawks

Forward lines

Ryan Hartman-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins-Vinnie Hinostroza-Tyler Motte


Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Brian Campbell

Niklas Hjalmarsson-Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling-Trevor van Riemsdyk



Scott Darling


INJURIES: Jonathan Toews (back), Brent Seabrook (upper body), Corey Crawford (appendix).

New York Rangers (via New York Daily News)

Forward lines

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Marek Hrivik-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

Nicklas Jensen-Josh Jooris-Brandon Pirri


Defensive Pairs

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein



Antti Raanta


INJURIES: Rick Nash (groin), Matt Puempel (concussion), Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula), Pavel Buchnevich (back).

NHL Draft Profile: D Evan Bouchard

NHL Draft Profile: D Evan Bouchard

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Evan Bouchard

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 193 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A highly intelligent defenseman with exceptional vision and offensive instincts. He reads the play very well and his passing ability allows him to be a constant threat in his team's transition game. He's one of the top offensive-defenseman in the Canadian Hockey League and magician-like when quarterbacking the power play."

NHL player comparable: John Carlson/Alex Pietrangelo

Fit for Blackhawks:

At 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, Bouchard is one of the most NHL-ready defensemen in this year's draft and that could be appetizing for a team like the Blackhawks, who are looking for immediate help on the blue line. But Bouchard is a right-handed shot, and drafting him would add a third high-end right-handed shot defenseman to the organization, along with prospects Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell.

You can never have enough of them, but there's only room for three before somebody would have to play on their off hand and that would mean the third would be playing on the bottom pairing. All three of these players have Top 4 potential.

Still, that may not even come into play here. The Blackhawks will seek to take the best available player, like they always have. And if they feel it's Bouchard, they'll do it.

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Brady Tkachuk

Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 196 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"I know Tkachuk isn't a center, but Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) is another player who comes to mind with his combination of size, strength, skill and nastiness. Tkachuk has impressive hand skills and his upside has only begun because I think there's lots of maturity and growth to come. I've seen his speed and skating improve each of the past three years and I think he'll still get stronger and his balance will get better. His man strength will come and it'll be like, 'Oh boy, look out.'"

NHL player comparable: Matthew Tkachuk/Wayne Simmonds

Fit for Blackhawks:

If you're looking for a player that checks all the boxes in this year's draft, it's Tkachuk. And man could the Blackhawks use a player like him.

He's got offensive skill, willingly goes to the greasy areas, can provide net-front presence while playing a top-six role, and perhaps the most important part for the Blackhawks: he's very close to NHL ready. The Blackhawks will be patient with whoever they draft, but there's also some urgency to turn things around in 2018-19.

If they can draft a player like Tkachuk who can potentially jump into the lineup as early as this upcoming season, that would be ideal. Because he's the type of player that can make an impact, not just get by.