Blackhawks Blue Line’s Big Future

With news on Monday that the Blackhawks have signed Alec Regula to an entry-level contract, the Blackhawks suddenly have a lot of big defensemen coming in the system.

Here are the six defensemen in the Blackhawks’ system that bring some size to the table. Three of them are currently under contract.

Dennis Gilbert
6-2, 216
DOB: 10/30/1996
Drafted: 3rd round (#91) in the 2015 NHL Draft
Signed thru 2020-21 season
2019-20 Season: Chicago (NHL) – 3 games, 0 points
2019-20 Season: Rockford (AHL) – 5 games, 0 points

Alec Regula
6-4, 207
DOB: 08/06/2000
Drafted: 3rd round (#67) in 2018 NHL Draft (by Detroit)
Acquired: via trade from the from the Detroit Red Wings for forward Brendan Perlini (Oct. 28, 2019)
Signed thru 2021-22 season
2019-20 Season: London (OHL) – 14 games, 7 goals, 8 assists

Alex Vlasic
6-6, 200
DOB: 06/05/2001
Drafted: 2nd round (#43) in the 2019 NHL Draft
2019-20 Season: Boston University (Hockey East) – 9 games, 0 goals, 2 assists

Ian McCoshen
6-3, 210
DOB: 08/05/1995
Drafted: 2nd round (#31) in the 2013 NHL Draft (by Florida)
Acquired: via trade from the Florida Panthers for forward Aleksi Saarela (Oct. 22, 2019)
Signed thru 2019-20 season (RFA)
2019-20 Season: Springfield (AHL) – 7 games, 0 goals, 4 assists
2019-20 Season: Rockford (AHL) – 8 games, 0 goals, 3 assists

Cole Moberg
6-3, 187
DOB: 10/17/2000
Drafted: 7th round (#194) in the 2019 NHL Draft
2019-20 Season: Prince George (WHL) – 15 games, 3 goals, 9 assists

Roope Laavainen
6-2, 200
DOB: 08/23/1998
Drafted: 4th round (#117) in the 2017 NHL Draft
2019-20 Season: HPK Hameenlinna (SM-liiga) – 14 games, 0 goals, 2 assists
2019-20 Season: KooKoo Kouvola (SM-liiga) – 14 games, 0 goals, 2 assists

61 thoughts on “Blackhawks Blue Line’s Big Future

  1. Which 2 do you think are most likely the future of Blackhawks blueline. Can Gilbert be a regular Nhl defenseman, or a career depth guy. Vlassic definitely somebody looked to be in the future picture after a couple of years in Ncaa. Regula an intriguing player, needs a chance to show what he can do, McCoshen seems like a solid Ahl player, need to see him in Nhl soon if going to be a keeper. Moberg a long way off yet, Laavainen needs to step up the depth chart more than he has so far.

  2. re: Ian’s question about which of these guys can be NHL players – I REALLY like Vlasic. Lots of leadership, big size. Regula is also an intriguing addition to the mix; any time you can add a captain of the London Knights it speaks volumes about the character of the kid. If I was betting on 2 kids on this list they would be the 2. That being said, I do think Gilbert can be an NHL contributor as a third pair guy.

  3. Drop in BOQVIST and Ian MITCHELL to that group and the future looks promising.Now a couple of NHL sized forwards with speed and grit and we can build something.

  4. Before he is shown the door maybe BOWMAN can fleece the Rangers out of a couple of their young forwards who seem to be unhappy.And the young OILER forward is sitting over in Finland refusing to play for them.

  5. Off topic, for the first time ever I agreed with Cherry. The PC culture will kill our Nation’s identity as a sovereign country.

    As for these kids, only time will tell how they develop once.yhey get to Rockford, Gilbert should already be playing 3rd line in the NHL.

  6. Thanks, Tab.

    Assuming Vlasic will some day be good enough to wear an Indianhead sweater, then the Blackhawks finally had a very good draft. In the mean time, there is this season?

  7. Yea I like Vlassic. There is something about him, in the same good way there is about Mitchell. Gogin to be good players.

    Still stacked at D young wave wise. Like that guy Tim said get some more FW and were looking good for future core.

    Once future young wave core is established, were a top team again with Lehner leading the way.

  8. For those that frequent the Rockford games, how has McCoshen looked so far? Which side does he play, and shoot? Pairs with?
    Thanks in advance.

  9. Seem to have alot pieces to form a solid supporting cast on defense down the road on this list and elsewhere in the system. Need to continue to develop Boqvist into that top pair guy and find his compliment on that top pairing going forward, whether its developing, fa signing or trade acquisition.

  10. Holm is tied for most points on the team with 9 in 13 games, and he’s +4. Is this guy projecting to be an NHL contributor in the near future?

  11. To the kids coming up learn how to play the physical game. Nobody that’s knocked on their ass in the corner scores a goal. There’s a time and place to lead with your stick and a time to lay your opponent out. And please learn to clear out in front of your goalie.

  12. Let’s be clear about Cherry’s firing – he was not fired by any sort of government agency or some sort of PC Police – he was fired by a private corporation (Sportsnet) run by mostly rich white conservative guys (just like Don) who realized that Don Cherry was no longer a financial asset

    Sportsnet (owned by Rogers) has lost a lot of money on their purchase of the NHL rights and they need to grow (not shrink) their hockey audience beyond the aging white audience it currently is – they need new immigrants to play hockey and to watch hockey – Don’s rant doesn’t help that cause at all plus Don’s salary was the highest at the network

    Don Cherry bit the hand that fed him and he’s out – that’s not PC culture that’s capitalist culture

    The damage that Don did to the Sportsnet brand and their fear of diminishing financial returns from Don’s product (Coach’s Corner) is what is behind the firing

    If it were PC culture behind his firing he would have been axed long ago

    It would seem that in Canada anyway it’s not as easy as it used to be to make a living as a xenophobic racist bully – the market’s drying up

  13. Hockey should alwasy be its pasttime, with white and guys like Cherry and such. Not Bettmans or commitys. Screw the general public and getting more into hockey that hasnt always been. Not that I do not want the sport to grow, just not in the way that brings in ‘general public’ idiots, that stand up during the play like Phil puts spot light on.

    For the same Quality of people that have made hockey what it is. Guys like Cherry and others. Thats what makes hockey so good, it doesnt have tha general public garbage and idiot people watching it.

    I was at an outback steakhouse the other yr watching the gold metal game for world juniors and these couple people asked the bartender to put football back on, which was already on 25 other tvs there and I has just had her switch the one tv I was watching the world juniors on.

    To hear them whine about needing every fukking tv on nfl and couldnt handle having one tv on gold metal game. Must have been a bunch of gaays, they looked like it.

  14. Let’s be clear about Wraparound: He has no clue as to whether Sportsnet fired Cherry on principle or cynically, as he claims, they fired him to protect their financial interest. (By the way, Sportsnet is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a public, not private, corporation.)

    I highly doubt Wraparound knows any of the decision-makers at Sportsnet, let alone their ethnicity or how wealthy they are.

    Cherry’s problem was he spoke in offensive stereotypes. So does Wraparound.

  15. Wirtz, you realize wraparound called Cherry a Xenophobic racist right? Ive never seen any offensive stereotypes coming from him, probably can’t say the same for myself.

  16. @Wirtz – call me cynical if you want but big corporations don’t generally make decisions based on morals – they make business decisions based on the bottom line

    The evidence shows that Cherry has said many offensive things over the years but somehow managed to keep his job – why do you think that was? Was it because Sportsnet or CBC before them were champions of free speech? I don’t think so based on everything we know about how capitalism works. Was it because Cherry made them a ton of money with Coach’s Corner? – bingo!

    This time the difference is that the times have changed and the opinions that the buying public and advertisers are willing to be associated with have changed – Cherry’s opinions are the same but (if you follow the money) his leverage over his employers was a lot less – Sportsnet was looking a diminished financial asset (Cherry) and the possibility of a bad reputation if they kept him on

    The logical move from a brand protection POV and a financial POV was to terminate him to win back some cache with the public – I think from a business POV it was their only move

    Bart Yabsley (who is a rich white guy – looks it up – although admittedly I don’t know his political affiliation) and is President of Sportsnet is the person who released the statement of Cherry’s termination and presumably the chief decision maker on this

    Sportsnet may be a publicly traded company but is not a government owned company like the CBC is – that was my point there

  17. Wrap, Cherry as a Hnic/Rogers hockey commentator has no right to assume he speaks for anybody and stir up political hornets nests. Rogers by allowing him to do just that for a number of years in the name of profits and ratings was wrong too.

  18. Maybe we can get Cherry to coach the Blackhawks? That would be a shot in the arm for the youth movement. And his clown suits would bring some needed color to the drab winter months!

    Thank you! I’ll be here all week.

  19. @Ian – totally agree

    It’s been a bit sad to hear all the Sportsnet talk show hosts go on air today to defend Rogers/Sportsnet’s decision and having to admit they were complicit all these years (as enablers) for turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to his inappropriate remarks and not calling him out before because you know hockey icon and all

  20. I’m not choosing a side here. Can this site please just be about hockey and the hawks. There are plenty of other places to argue about society. That’s not why we’re here.

  21. How about this, since we had an, off 50 shot agasint, NAS was 7-3-1 when they were hot streaking and goalie 1 goal against in 3 games section. NAS is 2-2-3 ? since.

  22. Its still on the road and coming across country from California Baja to east coast. Shouldnt be lopsided this time around. The game that is, who knows about the shot totals.

  23. With you Gander. We should target Lowry from Winnipeg. Give them a level B or C prospect Dman and pick. Then Lemieux from the Rangers. Kassian could be our O’Rielly like Stl did.

  24. I know you do not want to know jerk on things. Like 20 last yr first 10 games. Why are we not doing these moves like taht we need to.

    When did Bowman make the moves last yr game 30 ish.

  25. What’s the allure on Adam Lowry? Faceoffs? 25 points in his last 94 games.

    Carpenter can equal that production..but he’ll lose 6 more draws per 100.

  26. Agree with you Gander.. lets talk Blackhawks…
    Did somebody saw Vlasic play 3-5 games this year ?
    What did you see ?
    Regula will probably get a few games with Rockford at the end of their season …iff Hogs are still playing in the playoff
    I have a feeling about Hagel who had a slow start in Rockford
    I think the kid is slow to adapt …maybe a bit like Sharp was when Hawks got him for i dont remember who I would not be surprise to see him with a good year and then continue to improve next year .i like the kid and think he is really a future Nhl player .
    Really think That Holm will be playing a few games with the Hawks this year …maybe more then a few game when all the trade will complete. I love Gus from last year …he will be move probably after a few good offensive game with the Hawks.
    Gilbert will also be back with the Hawks.
    Just my 2 cents
    Love my Hawks

  27. Protection for others. Stands up to Reaves. Park him in front of the net on power plays. Not getting him for scoring. Need role players like everyone states. Chemistry is needed through out the lineup.

  28. Calling attention to offensive, unpatriotic behavior has nothing to do with xenophobia. P.S. “PC” never regulates the actual bigots it is supposedly aimed at. It only guilt trips good people.

  29. I see in separate interviews both JC and Kane refer to the players and coaches talking together about opening up the Hawks offence – this is what we thought must have happened – players and coaches talking

    Glad to see that JC listened and made a change – next step will be to cut down the SOG

  30. Dang…I don’t hate the Schmaltz trade, but he’s 4 for 6 on the shootout…and I only know this because I bet on the Yotes to lose in back-to-back games, both won with a Schmaltz/Garland shootout win….ugh

  31. JR capspace right now prevents any moves that require a bigger caphit. $850,000 into ltir and when Murphy activated likely Boqvist goes down with his bonuses leaving them with around $900,000. Need the Jets to take Smith or Maatta back.

  32. May need to move Smith so no bonus overages and Maatta to resign Lehner for next year, so adding more cap is an issue if its not an expiring contract.

  33. I thought, at first, when we got Four 4m caphit players, that 2 of them wernt staying after this yr anyways, so we have plenty to do Lehner and Crow and 12 and 17. Still think same, Maatta has been good but Lehner has to stay. he has the right attitude, so does Crow, and is 10 yrs younger or enough younger that in 5 yrs he should be goalie and still be young, per say.

    Wouldnt have though it could be 65, who knows right now. Lehner and Haan have to stay. Trading Gusto means you might need to keep Maatta for a little longer, at least, until Mitchell and Beau are ready and established enough.

    Then its on because we have a young Horsemen wave of Defensemen ready and some good looking FWs.

    Like that guy just said, team chemistry and who works well with group is needed, tweak finetune it.

    Lets go now, get out there and stick em.

  34. Top 4 likely stays same with Keuth Dehaan on left side and Murphy with Boqvist insread of Gus on right side.
    Seabrook still be around and Maatta, unless they feel Gilbert who looks close and maybe after a year in Rfd., McCoshan or Holm are ready then Maatta could be moved for some cap room next year.

    Smith likely gone from fwd group, with Strome, Kubalik and Cagguila rfas. Entwistle, Kurashev, Hagel, Sikura and possibly Barrett pushung for roster spots. Maybe Shaw is moved for cap space.

  35. The development of Kubalik and/or Nylander can also make Saad expendable. Contract expires at the end of 21. That’s $6m . A continuation of the current path for the team this year could see him moved at TDL or over the summer if the buyer can get him to sign an extension. I believe that can happen once he is within a year of being a UFA.

  36. Within the year I understand that we need to trade dollars for dollars. So Gus and Cags and a pick for Lowry. Next year Crow’s $$ gets replaced by Cat’s $$.
    I’m I correct that next year is the expansion draft? I’m a big believer that Seabs goes to Seattle along with an A list prospect. There’s 7mil plus whatever increase to cap for resigns and other players. Yet to see how Strome plays out. Others could fill that spot but I do like him with the Cat.

  37. Expansion draft is summer of 21 not next summer. Saad could be an option but would need to happen next summer to benefit Lehner resigning. Still a void there that Nylander and Kubalik don’t fill. Saads defensive game is above theirs and is a top pk guy also.
    JR also need another body for Gus on D, Boqvist right now with bonuses that would go against cap is 1.75m plus Lowry over 2.9m is roughly 4.7m and your losing Gus 1.2m and Cagguila 1.5m ot 2.7m. Almost 2m over the cap with current roster. Not just as easy as it seems, unless somebody else goes on ltir for rest of year.

  38. Oops, then I have a year to wait. This is what I was thinking:

    Saad Toews Kubalik
    Cat Lowry Kane
    Lemieux Dach Nylander
    Kassian Carpenter Shaw

    Keith Murphy
    de Haan Boq
    Matta Horsemen

    Lehner Crow

    Like to have some size on each line. Saad is strong. Just need some tenacity in him. He is wearing number 20.

  39. Not sure about not keeping Saader, if only for caphit space. To me I would only do that if we need 6-8m for a #1 Defensemen. I would rather not keep Smith Maatta and Shaw if need be for that, thats 12m right there. To me the difference between Sadder and these other 4m caphit players is only 2m, we can find that elsewhere to keep Saader.

    If were cycleing everyone out thats not 23 or younger core, other then 19 88 2 12 17 40 44, sure but then we need to add players that are good and they prob have somewhat similiar caphits.

    Now you want to get creative, by trading Saader and others for good prospects that turn into good players. Then add more good ufa summer players like 44 22 40, sure. Then we get both.

    If just cycleing caphits then I would not keep 15 6 65 per say.

  40. Agree with what everyone here is saying though. Its a no brainer for who to keep and make finetune summer adds while younger players get established. You sort of can just see who fits and doesnt.

    But I wouldnt go by bad games, when noone looks good. I would go by each guy, like Perlinis, and who works well with overall group like taht guy just said.

    Were not top team this yr, even with several good summer players add. Once we wteak finetune and younger players are established, we are looking good.

  41. Yea I am doing the moves we need to make during next 12 mths to get roster really ready. Weer close but need a system or this system needs to grow nuts games 20-82.

  42. I do not know Lowery but Hands and Richy were 2nd line centers necause we had a stout 3rd line center those yrs. It fit overall and those 3 lines were stout with a dang good 4th line checking line.

  43. Thats another thing on yrs were deep and top team, we always add a good center who excellent at faceoffs st deadline, like Hand Richy I know summer Vermmette so I see same thing happening again. Then we can have our Bollys and Shawzers go and stack a line even more like 36 16 67, 65 16 11.

  44. You can get a #1 Defensemen that same age as Saader, then that could be a thing if you have another way of getting another Saader type player, ufa. Whos available for #1 and two FW like Saader this summer.

  45. Don’t mind what i’ve seen from 12, 17 & 88 so far, wouldn’t be too quick on breaking them up. See how they look on bigger sample against more teams. So far they have showed good possession and play with puck alot. The checking role is led by Carpenter, Entwistle will add size and physical play there, along with some scoring potential. Throw in Kampf, Cagguila, Highmore, Wedin etc., gives a solid line there.

    If Dach becomes the no. 1 center in next year or 2, Toews although maybe not as dangerous scoring force, can still on a reduced 5 on 5 role as a pk/fo specialist play for awhile yet. Saad with combination of fwds from curent system or yet to be acquired as wingers for those 2 lines.

    Keeping Lehner in tow, along with finding out who the top D pairing to anchor the blueline in coming years, is top priority to me.

  46. Saad Toews Kubalik
    Lemieux Dach Nylander
    Cat Lowry Kane
    Kassian Carpenter Shaw

    Better? Lol.

    Also roll 4 lines each period:
    4 minutes. 5 minutes
    4. 5
    4. 5
    4. 3
    2 pp/pk. 2 pp/pk
    2 pp/pk

  47. Why would the Jets trade Lowry at all let alone to a division rival?

    Gander – saw both of the Schmalz shootout goals and they were very impressive as he was the first shooter both nights. I think it had been a fairly even trade but we really won’t know for a couple more years.

  48. Don’t think Kasian from the Oilers is going anywhere soon.Mc David and Draiseitel love his size and that he opens up the ice for them.Seabrook unfortunately is not eligible for the Expansion Draft per his contract.Maata,Smith,Cagula,Gus,and Crow have to go to get this rebuild going.Puljarvi from the Oilers and the big Swedish center from the Rangers,Anderson I think,are both available.If your going to be successful in the next couple of years Toews and Saad have to be on the 3rd line and you are going to have strike gold finding a McDavid,McKinnon,or another dynamic fast center to win faceoffs and be as dangerous as those guys are every shift.They both change games by themselves.

  49. Murphy practiced yesterday on 4th pair with Koekkoek, Murphy expected to be activated on wknd., assume that means Koekkoek is healthy scratch tonight.

  50. Don’t know if that shot Lehner took to the collarbone is keeping him out tonight but I thought he deserved 2 of the next three but instead it’ll be Crawford in 2 of the three

    Hopefully he keeps up his stellar play of his last couple games

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