Alex DeBrincat

Blackhawks convention attendees announced, including captain Jonathan Toews

Blackhawks convention attendees announced, including captain Jonathan Toews

It was a disappointing season to say the least for the Blackhawks this past year, as nine straight playoff appearances came to an end. But the Hawks and Hawks fans alike are beginning their countdown to a new season. And a big moment will come the last weekend of July.

The Blackhawks Twitter page announced all the attendees for their annual Blackhawks Convention; the list includes captain Jonathan Toews.

The convention is being held at the Hilton Chicago July 27-29, and it will not only include Toews but several current players, alumni, coaches and broadcasters.

The weekend will include numerous autograph and photo sessions, Q&A panels, exhibits, interactive games and much more.

Some current players attending are: Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith, Alex DeBrincat, Nick Schmaltz and Artem Anisimov.

The alumni list includes: Bryan Bickell, Adam Burish, Brian Campbell, Ben Eager, Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Denis Savard and many others.

The legendary voices of the Blackhawks, TV play-by-play man Pat Foley and radio announcer John Wiedeman will also be in attendance.

The season is still a couple months away for the Blackhawks, whose home opener is Oct. 7 against Toronto. They start the campaign with two games on the road, with Ottawa first in line (Oct. 4), then the St. Louis Blues (Oct. 6).

Setting and predicting five early prop bets for Blackhawks in 2018-19

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USA TODAY

Setting and predicting five early prop bets for Blackhawks in 2018-19

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn the federal ban on sports gambling, here are five early prop bet predictions for the Blackhawks in 2018-19:

1. Brandon Saad's point total: 48.5

In April, we detailed Saad's struggles from this past season and predicted that he'd have a big bounce-back year after recording only 35 points, a career-low in an 82-game season. This came after he put up back-to-back 53-point seasons in Columbus, and 52 previously with the Blackhawks in 2014-15.

You can imagine Chicago's frustration when that point total dipped to 35.

Still, we're setting the bar at 48.5 next year, because that's his average over the last five years — we didn't count his rookie season in 2012-13 when he appeared in just 46 games and had 27 points.

The pick: Over

2. Duncan Keith's goal total: 4.5

What a weird season for Keith, who found the back of the net twice on 187 shots for a 1.1 shooting percentage. In 2016-17, he had six goals on 183 shots for a 3.3 shooting percentage. His career average is seven goals per season on 4.4 percent shooting.

But with Keith turning 35 in July and his goal total declining for three straight seasons, we have to be realistic about our expectations. 

Knowing Keith, he'll probably score two goals in the first two games of the season because hockey's weird. So...

The pick: Over

3. Corey Crawford's win total: 32.5

Crawford was on his way to setting a career high in wins (35) before he got injured — something we predicted he would do before the season — and it would've been interesting to see how many he would've finished with had he stayed healthy. He was at 16 through 27 starts.

All indications are that Crawford will be ready to go by the start of next season, but there's still some uncertainly regarding how much time he'll need to get back up to speed. So we'll be a little cautious with this number and tab it at 32.5 for now but predict he'll have no problem returning to an elite level.

The pick: Over

4. More goals: Alex DeBrincat or Jonathan Toews?

It's very hard to score 28 goals in a season. DeBrincat did that as a rookie. But it's asking a lot for him to top that next season, even though there's no reason to believe he won't take that next step.

Meanwhile, Toews has scored at least 20 goals in each of his first 11 seasons, and is averaging 26.5 per season despite scoring a career-low 20 last year and 21 the year before.

We expect him to get closer to that 26.5 range, and if he does that, he'll make this head-to-head matchup interesting.

The pick: Toews

5. Blackhawks point total: 93.5

The Blackhawks' over/under last season was set at 99.5 by Bovada. They finished with 76, their lowest since compiling 71 in 2006-07.

And there were lots of reasons for that, most notably the injury to Crawford which we mentioned above. According to corsica.hockey, Crawford had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 8.5 over an 82-game season. That's a 17-point difference, so we put the number at exactly that: 93.5.

While a 17-point jump seems significant at a quick glance, it shouldn't when you look at the bigger picture.

The Colorado Avalanche clinched the final wild card spot in the Western Conference with 95 points, coming off a season in which they recorded 48 points the year before — an astounding 47-point increase.

That's a little extreme, but 93.5 points would still put the Blackhawks outside the playoff picture. And that's what they are as of right now: a bubble team.

The pick: Over

2018 IIHF Men's World Championship tracker: Keeping up with the Blackhawks

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AP

2018 IIHF Men's World Championship tracker: Keeping up with the Blackhawks

The 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship is taking place in Denmark from May 4-20, and you can keep up with all the Blackhawks participating right here.

Here's a quick rundown of the players:

Germany: Dominik Kahun, who signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Blackhawks in April.

Russia: Artem Anisimov and prospect Max Shalunov.

Slovakia: Tomas Jurco.

Sweden: Erik Gustafsson.

USA: Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane, Connor Murphy, Jordan Oesterle and 2015 Stanley Cup champion and Lemont native Scott Darling.

MAY 20

— Kane registered an assist, a game-high six shots on goal and logged the second-most ice time of any skater (25:51) in USA's 4-1 win over Canada to win bronze. He finished with eight goals and 12 assists in 10 games, becoming just the second player in 37 years to reach the 20-point mark. Dany Heatley did so in 2008.

— DeBrincat had an assist and three shots on goal in 13:59 of ice time. He finished the tournament with one goal and eight assists in 10 games.

— Murphy had a plus-1 rating in 12:27 of ice time. He led USA with a plus-7 rating in 10 games, and recorded an assist.

MAY 19

— Kane had three shots on goal and was a minus-3 in 22:02 of ice time in USA's 6-0 loss to Sweden in the semifinals.

— DeBrincat was one of two U.S. players to be held shotless and was a minus-2 rating in 13:37 of ice time. Murphy had two shots on goal in 16:48 of ice time.

MAY 17

— Kane scored two goals, including the game winner, in USA's 3-2 win over Czech Republic to advance to the semifinals. He leads the tournament with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in eight games.

— DeBrincat recorded one shot on goal in a tournament-low 9:31 of ice time. Murphy had two shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 20:14 of ice time.

— Anisimov had a goal, assist, three shots on goal, a plus-2 rating and won 4 of 8 faceoffs (50 percent) in 16:32 of ice time, but it wasn't enough as Russia was eliminated with a 5-4 overtime loss to Canada.

— Shalunov logged only 1:24 of ice time.

MAY 15

— Kane had a goal, assists, a game-high six shots on goal and was a minus-3 in 17:40 of ice time as USA suffered their first defeat to Finland 6-2. Kane set a U.S. record for both points (17) and assists (11) in a single IIHF Men's World Championship.

— DeBrincat recorded two shots on goal in 12:46 of ice time. He wrapped up group play with eight points (one goal, seven assists) in seven games.

— Murphy had a minus-2 rating in 17:58 of ice time. Oesterle was a healthy scratch for the third straight game.

— Jurco was named player of the game after having two goals, an assist, four shots on goal and a plus-3 rating in 16:45 of ice time as Slovakia defeated Belarus 7-4. He finished the preliminary round with four goals, an assist, a team-high plus-3 rating and 20 shots on goal, which ranked second on the team, in seven games.

— Kahun recorded two of the team's 12 shots on goal and was a minus-2 rating in Germany's 3-0 loss to Canada. He has one goal and two assists through seven games.

— Anisimov had three shots on goal and won 4 of 13 faceoffs (30.8 percent) in 16:45 of ice time in Russia's 3-1 loss to Sweden.

— Shalunov logged only 4:37 of ice time after committing two first-period penalties for Russia.

— Gustafsson did not play after breaking his thumb. He will miss the rest of the tournament.

MAY 14

— Shalunov had a goal and an assist, three shots on goal, a plus-3 rating and won 3 of 13 faceoffs (23.1 percent) in Russia's 4-0 win over Slovakia. He has three goals and three assists in six games, and leads the team with 19 shots on goal.

— Anisimov went pointless, had three shots on goal and won 3 of 9 faceoffs (33.3 percent) in 16:24 of ice time.

— Jurco had a shot on goal, a minus-2 rating and committed two penalties in 16:53 of ice time for Slovakia.

MAY 13

— Kane had two goals, an assist and five shots on goal in 15:45 of ice time as USA knocked off Norway 9-3 to win their sixth straight game. With 15 points in six games, Kane has moved into first for the tournament scoring lead.

Here's a look at Kane's first goal, set up by Charlie McAvoy on the power play:

And Kane's second, connecting with DeBrincat on the power play:

— DeBrincat recorded two assists, five shots on goal and was a plus-1 rating in 13:41 of ice time. He has eight points (one goal, seven assists) through six games.

DeBrincat made a terrific nifty play on USA's third goal of the game to set up McAvoy:

— Murphy registered an assist, three shots on goal and was a plus-3 rating in 17:00 of ice time. It was his first point of the tournament. Oesterle was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row.

— Darling entered in the third period and stopped 8 of 10 shots for an .800 save percentage. He's turned aside 20 of 23 shots (.869 save percentage) in two appearances.

— Gustafsson had four shots on goal in 11:37 of ice time in Sweden's 5-3 win over Switzerland.

— Kahun registered an assist, had a plus-1 rating and led all German forwards with 17:36 of ice time in a 3-2 overtime win over Finland. He has a goal and two assists during his three-game point streak.

Here's a look at Kahun's primary assist, which came on the overtime winner:

MAY 12

— Jurco scored his second goal of the tournament, recorded a game-high five shots on goal and was a plus-2 rating in 17:42 of ice time in Slovakia's 4-3 overtime loss to Sweden.

— Gustafsson registered an assist for his first point of the tournament, added two shots goal and had a plus-2  rating in 15:16 of ice time for Sweden.

— Kahun was named Germany's player of the game after netting his first goal of the tournament in a 3-1 loss to Latvia. He also went 1-for-5 in the faceoff circle (20 percent) and logged 17:57 of ice time.

— Anisimov picked up two assists, had a plus-2 rating and won 4 of 7 faceoffs (57.1 percent) in 17:06 of ice time as Russia defeated Switzerland 4-3.

— Shalunov was held without a shot on goal and had a minus-1 rating in only 9:01 of ice time. 

MAY 11

— Kane had two goals, three assists, a game-high five shots on goal in only 12:25 of ice time in USA's 13-1 win over Korea. He's tied for first in the tournament with 12 points through five games.

Here's a look at Kane's goal that made it 7-1:

— DeBrincat recorded two assists, three shots on goal and was a plus-2 rating in 14:43 of ice time. 

— Murphy led all skaters with a plus-4 rating and registered four shots on goal in 14:13 of ice time. Oesterle was a healthy scratch with Charlie McAvoy being added to the roster.

— Darling made his first start of the tournament and stopped 12 of 13 shots for a .923 save percentage.

MAY 10

— DeBrincat was named player of the game after recording two assists in USA's 3-2 overtime win over Latvia. He also had two shots on goal and was a plus-1 rating in 12:05 of ice time.

— Kane had two assists, a game-high six shots on goal and was a plus-1 rating in 23:03 of ice time, which led all U.S. forwards. He assisted on the game-winner in overtime, which came during a 4-on-3 power play:

— Murphy led all defensemen with four shots on goal and logged 16:49 of ice time while Oesterle logged 11:17 of ice time.

— Jurco tied a team-high with three shots on goal and led all forwards with 21:06 of ice time in Slovakia's 3-1 win over France.

— Anisimov had an assist, tied a team-high with three shots on goal and won 2 of 7 faceoffs (28.6 percent) in 16:38 of ice time in Russia's 4-3 loss to the Czech Republic.

— Shalunov registered an assist, a shot on goal and was a plus-2 rating in 13:25 of ice time.

MAY 9

— Kahun registered a primary assist, three shots on goal, was a plus-1 rating and won 4 of 7 faceoffs (57.1 percent) in 16:54 of ice time as Germany defeated Korea 6-1.

— Gustafsson led all defensemen with four shots on goal in 18:34 of ice time in Sweden's 7-0 win over Austria.

MAY 8

— Jurco scored a goal, had three shots on goal and was a plus-2 rating in 17:59 of ice time in Slovakia's 4-2 win over Austria.

MAY 7

— Kane was voted player of the game in USA's 3-0 win over Germany after scoring a power-play goal and adding two primary assists. He also tied a team-high with four shots on goal and was a plus-1 rating in 18:36 of ice time.

— DeBrincat had a goal and an assist, tied a team-high with four shots on goal and was a plus-1 rating in 15:06 of ice time. His goal was set up by Kane that made it 3-0:

— Murphy recorded two shots on goal and logged a tournament-high 20:52 of ice time. Oesterle had three shots on goal and was a plus-1 rating in 11:01 of ice time.

— Kahun had one shot on goal and won 5 of 9 faceoffs (55.6 percent) in 17:49 of ice time for Germany.

— Anisimov had one shot on goal and lost both faceoffs he took in 15:54 of ice time in Russia's 6-0 win over Belarus. He was held pointless for the first time this tournament.

— Shalunov scored a goal, added an assist and had two shots on goal in 15:27 of ice time for Russia. It was his first multi-point game of the tournament.

— Gustafsson registered four shots on goal and logged 19:09 of ice time, which was the third-most on the team, in Sweden's 4-0 win over France.

MAY 6

— Anisimov had a goal, an assist and won 9 of 11 faceoffs (81.8 percent) in Russia's 7-0 win over Austria. He also registered two shots on goal and was a plus-3 rating in 13:31 of ice time. 

— Shalunov recorded a game-high seven shots on goal and won his only faceoff in 15:33 of ice time. He leads the team with 13 shots on goal through two games.

— Gustafsson had two shots on goal in 14:42 of ice time as Sweden defeated Czech Republic 3-2.

— Kahun was a minus-2 rating and won only 4 of 15 faceoffs (26.7 percent) in 18:28 of ice time, which ranked fourth among forwards on his team, in Germany's 5-4 shootout loss to Norway. He was also held without a shot on goal.

— Jurco was a minus-1 rating and was held without a shot on goal in 17:50 of ice time in Slovakia's 2-0 loss to Switzerland.

MAY 5

— Jurco had a team-high four shots on goal and was a minus-1 rating in 18:06 of ice time in Slovakia's 3-2 overtime loss to the Czech Republic.

— Kane registered an assist, had four shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 19:15 of ice time in USA's 4-0 win over Denmark. 

— DeBrincat was promoted to the top line with Kane, and peppered three shots on goal, had a plus-1 rating and won his only faceoff he took in 15:45 of ice time.

— Murphy was bumped to the first pairing alongside Alec Martinez and finished with 19:37 of ice time, which ranked second on the team. He was one of four members from USA that was held without a shot on goal.

— Oesterle had two shots on goal in 12:42 of ice time, playing in a third-pairing role.

MAY 4

— Anisimov scored a power-play goal, had four shots on goal and went 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) at the faceoff dot in 13:55 of ice time as Russia defeated France 7-0 in its opener.

— Shalunov also scored on the power play and registered a game-high six shots on goal in 16:01 of ice time for Russia.

— DeBrincat, Kane and Oesterle each recorded an assist in USA's 5-4 shootout victory over Canada. Murphy logged 20:45 of ice time, which ranked third on the team and second among defensemen.

Here's a look at Kane's pass that set up linemate Johnny Gaudreau for the goal:

— Gustafsson led all Swedish blue liners with four shots on goal and had a plus-1 rating in 13:47 to help his country shut out Belarus 5-0.

— Kahun won a team-high 11 faceoffs on 18 draws (61.1 percent), had two shots on goal and a plus-1 rating in 16:56 of ice time as Germany fell to Denmark 3-2 in a shootout. Kahun shot third in the shootout but was denied by Frederik Andersen.