Blackhawks

Sharp out 3-4 weeks with upper-body injury

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Sharp out 3-4 weeks with upper-body injury

Updated: Monday, Jan. 9 at 4:24 p.m.

Injuries happen. Patrick Sharp is the latest to be felled by one. But for every injury theres an opportunity for someone else to step up, and the Blackhawks are looking for those guys to do so now.

The Blackhawks will be without Sharp for the next 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury he sustained scoring his 20th goal of the season -- Sharp was slashed near his handwrist as he was scoring. Sharp was placed on injured reserve late Monday afternoon. Its a tough blow, for sure, especially for a team thats still looking for its first victory in January (0-3-1) after a tremendous December.

But whether it comes from veteran guys or the players recently recalled from Rockford -- and that includes Ben Smith, who was recalled late this afternoon -- the Blackhawks will have to use that pack mentality to get them through Sharps absence.

Anyones misfortune is someone elses opportunity to prove that they can also be in this league, said Andrew Shaw, whos been doing just that in his three games with the Blackhawks. Its a misfortune for (Sharp) but if we go out there and keep working, good things will happen.

Sharp has the teams third-highest point total with 40 (20 goals, 20 assists). But its not about one guy replacing Sharp; its about the Blackhawks regaining that balance where everyone is contributing on both sides of the puck.

He had a good first half for us. I just think that compliments what were looking for, what were trying to reinforce: pay attention to detail, play tighter and off of that we may get more offense, coach Joel Quenneville said. When we think we have to outscore teams and everyone has to be the one to manufacture offense is when we expose ourselves.

And as Shaw said it opens the door for the opportunistic. The Blackhawks have been happy with what Shaw and Jimmy Hayes have done in their few games here recently and Smith gets another chance to show the game he had during the playoffs last spring.

You see (Hayes and Shaw) come in these last few games and have been putting points on the board. But you know what, it needs to be a team effort with (Daniel) Carcillo and Sharp out a couple of games, Bryan Bickell said. Thats what we need to do to get out of this slump.

The Blackhawks have been pretty fortunate with injuries thus far this season. But eventually this happens to every team every season. The good teams get the efforts from everyone and push through it.

NHL Draft Profile: F Filip Zadina

NHL Draft Profile: F Filip Zadina

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

Filip Zadina

Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 195 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Marian Hossa

Fit for Blackhawks:

You know who the Blackhawks missed last year? Hossa. It's not mentioned enough when analyzing what went wrong in 2017-18. 

Well, Zadina is a player who's got the upside of Hossa and is one of a few prospects who could potentially crack the NHL lineup this upcoming season. The scouting report above is all you need to know about Zadina's style of play, and Blackhawks fans surely nodded through the whole thing because it's exactly what the team is looking for.

However, this is a case where the Blackhawks would have to trade up to snag him if they want him, because there's little chance he'll be on the board when the eighth pick rolls around. And it's probably unlikely they would do so, given what it may take to move up a few spots.

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.