With the 2021 NHL regular season set to begin on Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks made their final roster moves on Tuesday night in preparation for their matchup against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

First, defensemen Anton Lindholm and Nick Seeler, forward John Quenneville, and goaltender Matt Tomkins were assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League after clearing waivers.

Then, the Blackhawks named forwards Brandon Hagel and Philipp Kurashev, defensemen Nicolas Beaudin, Lucas Carlsson, and Wyatt Kalynuk, and goaltender Kevin Lankinen to the NHL taxi squad for the beginning of the 2021 season.

Finally, the Blackhawks placed forward Alex Nylander, who underwent knee surgery before training camp, on long-term injured reserve. Forward Zack Smith was also placed on injured reserve because of his back injury.

Blackhawks Final Roster

As a result of all these moves, the Blackhawks’ roster for tomorrow’s contest against Tampa Bay has become clear.

Forwards: Ryan Carpenter, Alex DeBrincat, Matthew Highmore, Mattias Janmark, David Kampf, Patrick Kane, Dominik Kubalik, Brandon Pirri, Andrew Shaw, Carl Soderberg, Dylan Strome, Pius Suter, Lucas Wallmark

Defensemen: Adam Boqvist, Calvin de Haan, Duncan Keith, Ian Mitchell, Connor Murphy, Nikita Zadorov

Goaltenders: Collin Delia, Malcolm Subban

Defenseman Brent Seabrook is the most notable name left off the final roster (aside from Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach), but he has been deemed “unfit to participate” since the Blackhawks opened training camp last Monday. GM Stan Bowman stated on Tuesday that Seabrook is not skating yet, and the organization will soon announce why he has been absent.

The surprise of the roster certainly is Pirri, as he’s already 29 years old and has just 49 NHL games under his belt since the start of the 2017-18 season. But the Blackhawks’ second-round pick (No. 59 overall) back in 2009 had impressive flashes with the Vegas Golden Knights over the past few years and could provide much-needed offense to the lineup.

Soderberg solved his visa issues recently and has arrived in Chicago. However, the 35-year-old Swedish forward is currently quarantining and still expected to miss the Blackhawks four-game road trip to start the season.

Blackhawks Taxi Squad

After Lindholm, Quenneville, Seeler, and Tomkins went unclaimed through waivers and were sent down to Rockford, the Blackhawks were left with six prospects on their taxi squad.

Forwards: Brandon Hagel, Philipp Kurashev

Defensemen: Nicolas Beaudin, Lucas Carlsson, Wyatt Kalynuk

Goaltender: Kevin Lankinen

With the AHL regular season not scheduled to begin until February 5, the Blackhawks were wise to keep a handful of their top prospects on the taxi squad. Not only will they be taught how to be professional hockey players by veterans like Kane, Keith, and Seabrook, but they will also get to practice alongside those guys for an extra month. Exactly how it should be for a team in the midst of a rebuild.

Rockford IceHogs Roster

On Tuesday, the Blackhawks sent training camp invitees Andrei Altybarmakyan, Evan Barratt, Matej Chalupa, MacKenzie Entwistle, Reese Johnson, Chad Krys, Cale Morris, Cam Morrison, Tim Soderlund, Alec Regula, and Michal Teply down to Rockford.

While each of these players failed to make the Blackhawks’ final roster out of camp, they all will receive valuable playing time with the IceHogs this season. Also, with the Blackhawks not expected to make the playoffs, there will likely be numerous NHL call-ups throughout the course of the year.

Regula and Teply, both first-year professionals, have the highest potential upside of the group. Entwistle, Johnson, Krys, and Soderlund all were with the IceHogs in 2019-20 and are looking to take the next step in their development.

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Born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Diehard Blackhawks and Cubs fan. Former high school baseball player. Studied Mass Media Communication and Psychology at the University of Missouri.