Two of the four prospects injured were first-round picks Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach.
The 2019 Traverse City Prospect Tournament had been fairly rough to the Chicago Blackhawks heading into today’s seventh-place game vs. the Minnesota Wild. Unfortunately, things would only get worse, as the Blackhawks suffered FOUR injuries in about an hour.
Kirby Dach began the afternoon with a beautiful goal to open the scoring, but shortly after he was driven into the boards by Wild prospect Drake Pilon. Here’s a look at the controversial hit that forced Dach to leave the game.
Dach would not return to the game after being diagnosed with a shoulder injury. The good news is that Dach was held out for the remainder of the contest for precautionary reasons, and he’s expected to be okay for the beginning of training camp on Friday.
Blackhawks fans could breathe once again after the news about Dach broke during the first intermission. Just a few minutes into the second period though, they were hit with another kick to the stomach. 2018 first-round pick Adam Boqvist would also have to leave the game with an apparent chest injury. It felt like a scene in Stan Bowman’s nightmares. Fortunately, reports would quickly come out that Boqvist was alright and would also be held out for precautionary reasons. Once again, Blackhawks fans all over the world heaved a sigh of relief.
It seemed like matters couldn’t get any worse for the Blackhawks, but remarkably just FOUR MINUTES after Boqvist left the game, Philipp Kurashev took a nasty spill into the boards. He would also be forced to leave the game and would not return. The Blackhawks managed to lose three of their top-10 prospects in less than half of a game. Kurashev would be diagnosed with an upper/lower-body injury (whatever that means), but it appears to be nothing serious. His status is up in the air for training camp later this week.
Alright, it couldn’t get any worse than this, right?! Wrong. Later on in the second period, forward Mikael Hakkarainen went down and would also head into the locker room. Four Blackhawks injured in less than two periods OF A PROSPECT TOURNAMENT GAME. It was truly unfathomable. Hakkarainen would not return to the game after losing some teeth and experiencing dizziness. In hockey thats a minor injury, and if the game had any significance, Hakkarainen probably could have returned. The Blackhawks were left with a depleted bench but still managed to win the game 6-1.
After the conclusion of the game, it was revealed that all four players sustained minor injuries. It’s still unclear whether they’ll all be ready for the start of training camp on Friday, but the front office is optimistic they will be. It was a frightening afternoon for Blackhawks fans, but it seems like everyone is alright. Make sure to thank the hockey gods for their generosity.
For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author (@JackBushman2) on Twitter. Make sure to check out the author’s podcast, Talkin’ Hawkey, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Twitter (@TalkHawkey).