The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to figure out who will be part of their title defense at a number of key roster spots. There’s room for a forward or two, and defensive depth has some question marks, and there are a number of young players trying to jump into the mix and get their shot at the NHL in these positions.
After a couple days of training camp, the player turning the most heads is Igor Makarov.
Makarov jumped to the front of the class of youngsters with a hat trick in the final game of Toronto’s rookie tournament, and he hasn’t slowed down in Chicago. He leads all Blackhawks (veterans and rookies) with six points (three goals and three assists), and has been skating very well. He is tied with veteran center Jeff Taffe for the team lead in points so far; Patrick Sharp also has three assists, while Fernando Pisani, Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell has three goals each.
Listed at 6’1 and 195 pounds, Makarov was the Hawks second round pick (33rd overall) in 2006. He has not played in North America yet in his career, but was impressive two years ago at training camp and has looked good again. He turned 23 year old yesterday (Sept. 19).