Welcome to the 2019 preseason! Rookie camps opened across North America last Friday and Saturday. Veterans report this week, for the most part hitting the ice Friday. This is a busy time, with rookies looking to make a name for themselves and veterans looking to lock down roster spots. Each day, we will have all the updates of note right here.
Here is the training camp news for Tuesday:
Dach injured, expected to be ready for Blackhawks camp
Kirby Dach, the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, was among four Chicago Blackhawks injured during the seventh-place game of the 2019 NHL Prospect Tournament at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan.
Defenseman Adam Boqvist and forwards Philipp Kurashev and Mikael Hakkarainen were also injured in a 6-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild.
Each should be fine for the start of training camp, Blackhawks vice president of hockey operations and team affiliates Mark Bernard said.
“They are all minor injuries,” Bernard said. “It was more precautionary than ever. It’s been a long week here in Traverse City. Four games in five days isn’t easy for them. Then they have training camp ahead of them and we want to make sure they are ready for that, so it was more precautionary for all of them.”
Chicago has physicals Thursday and its first on-ice session Friday.
Dach, an 18-year-old center, appeared to injure his shoulder in the first period after absorbing a check along the boards. He did not return to the game and finished the tournament with three points (two goals, one assist) in three games.
“I was a little concerned when a guy gets up like that,” said Derek King, who is coaching Blackhawks prospects in Traverse City. “I think it was more on the caution side. We have main camp coming up here and we need to look at the big picture here.”
Boqvist, the No. 8 selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, went awkwardly into the boards and bruised his chest. The 19-year-old is considered one of the top defenseman prospects in the NHL.
Kurashev, a fourth-round pick (No. 120) in 2018, was injured after taking a hit from behind by Wild center Damien Giroux, who was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
“It’s nothing that is going to be long term,” Bernard said. “It’s bruising, and we want to make sure he is ready for the big week coming up.”
Hakkarainen, a fifth-round pick (No. 139) in 2018, was also injured in the second period. He absorbed a high stick and, according to Bernard, lost a few teeth and experienced a bout of dizziness.
Shawn P. Roarke
Kakko sits out Rangers’ final prospects game
There was no encore for Kaapo Kakko in Traverse City.
Kakko, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, was among four high-profile scratches for the New York Rangers in the fifth-place game against the St. Louis Blues at Center Ice Arena. Defensemen Adam Fox and Yegor Rykov, and forward Vitali Kravtsov, were also scratched.
Kakko had a debut to remember Monday, scoring an unassisted game-winning goal in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Minnesota Wild. He assisted on each of the first three goals, including two by Kravtsov on the power play.
“You look at him and you almost forget that he is 18 and one of the youngest guys here,” Fox said after the game Monday. “Like I said, there is a reason he was taken second overall, there was a reason he did so well at the World Championship. He is a big guy with a lot of skill, and I think he will do just fine in the NHL.”
Kakko will report to Rangers training camp, which begins Thursday.
Kravtsov, who played on the top line in each of his three games, had five points (two goals, three assists), tied for second in the tournament. Fox also had five points (two goals, three assists). He played top-pair minutes in each of his three games and saw time on the power play and penalty kill.
Rykov was injured blocking a shot during a 7-4 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday and did not play Monday. He scored a goal in that game, his only point of the tournament.
Shawn P. Roarke
Priskie seeks to open eyes in camp for Hurricanes
Chase Priskie says he’s ready to push for a full-time NHL roster spot with the Carolina Hurricanes in training camp.
The 23-year-old defenseman, who agreed to a two-year contract with the Hurricanes on Aug. 17, participated in the 2019 NHL Prospects Showcase in Nashville against the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals.
“It was the first time to put on the Carolina Hurricanes crest and just kind of get accustomed to their systems and what to expect going into training camp,” Priskie said. “Obviously we had good competition here, a lot of [American Hockey League] players. Just got up to pace with that and kind of kick out the summer hockey and gear it into the season.”
Priskie, who had 116 points (39 goals, 77 assists) in four seasons at Quinnipiac University, hopes to impress in camp by displaying his offensive skills as well as those in his own end.
“My approach is always the same,” he said. “Just have good habits on both sides of the puck, and then jump in on the offense when it’s available. Just try to play my game. I think when I keep it simple, I do some good things.”