The Chicago Blackhawks have released their roster for this year’s training camp. All 32 forwards, 19 defensemen and six goalies will compete for spots on head coach Joel Quenneville’s roster for the upcoming 2017-2018 regular season.
The Blackhawks training camp roster can be found here.
There are nine players on this roster that spent the entirety of last season on other teams in the NHL. Three of them – forwards John Mitchell and Drew Miller and defenseman Mark Stuart – were not even on the radar as far as possibilities for PTO signings.
Mitchell, 32, has spent the last five seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, where he accumulated 106 points in 326 games. He missed the first five games of last season due to a hip flexor issue, and was surprisingly placed on waivers after returning to the club for four games. He was not claimed, and spent the rest of the year in the Avs’ fourth line. Miller, 33, has spent the last five seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. He has 45 points in 288 games with the Winged Wheel, as well as leading all Red Wings players in blocked shots. Last season, he tallied 99 blocked shots, the highest by any Red Wings forward in the last seven seasons. Stuart, 33, was the 21st overall pick by the Boston Bruins in the 2003 NHL Draft. He played four seasons with the B’s until he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers along with forward Blake Wheeler for forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik. Stuart did not enjoy success in the Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets system, culminating in the Jets buying out the last year of his contract this past June 30th.
It’s obvious from these three PTO signings, along with defenseman Cody Franson’s last Friday, that the Blackhawks are currently looking for forward and defense depth, as well as skaters who can play in the penalty kill, if Miller’s PTO signing and Lance Bouma’s signing during the trade deadline is any suggestion. This can also be some indication that any of the young guns (Alex DeBrincat, Alex Fortin, Darren Raddysh etc.) looking to break into Q’s Opening Night roster will have to earn it.