The Chicago Blackhawks will have five prospects competing for a national championship in the NCAA hockey tournament, which starts Friday.
The 16-team tournament opens with four regionals this coming weekend, the winner of each advancing to the Frozen Four in two weeks at TD Garden in Boston.
The Blackhawks will be represented on three teams, including two players on two teams. Forwards Ryder Rolston and Landon Slaggert (Notre Dame), defensemen Wyatt Kaiser and Connor Kelley (Minnesota Duluth), and Slava Demin (UMass) will suit up.
SEE THE BRACKET: Full field revealed
Rolston has scored 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 36 games as a sophomore. He ranks second on the Irish in scoring behind undrafted forward Max Ellis. The Blackhawks acquired Rolston from the Colorado Avalanche in the Carl Soderberg trade in April 2021. Colorado selected Rolston in the fifth round in 2020.
Slaggert, Chicago’s first third-round pick in 2020, has scored 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 38 games in his sophomore campaign.
Albany Regional Semifinal: No. 3 Notre Dame (27-11-0) vs. No. 2 North Dakota (24-13-1); 5 p.m. CDT, Friday, ESPNU
Kaiser, Chicago’s second third-round pick in 2020, has 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) and blocked 39 shots in 32 games as a sophomore. He missed some games this season because of a knee injury.
Kelley, Chicago’s first seventh-round pick in 2021, has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and blocked 31 shots in 37 games as a sophomore.
Minnesota Duluth fell 3-2 in overtime in a national semifinal to eventual champion UMass in last year’s tournament.
Loveland Regional Semifinal: No. 2 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 3 Michigan Tech (2 p.m. CDT, Friday)
Demin, a transfer from Denver, has scored three points (one goal, two assists) and blocked 14 shots in 22 games for the reigning champions. He spent the previous three years at Denver. The Blackhawks acquired him from the Vegas Golden Knights in the Robin Lehner trade.
Worcester Regional Semifinal: No. 3 UMass vs. No. 2 Minnesota (5 p.m. CDT, Saturday)
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