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Morning Bag Skate: Nick Schmaltz among 4 Blackhawks prospects to play in 2016 World Juniors

Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

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Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Nick Schmaltz, the Chicago Blackhawks 2014 first-round pick, is one of four prospects that will compete in the 2016 World Junior Championships in Helinski, Finland. Radovan Bondra (Slovakia), Gustav Forsling (Sweden) and Joni Tuulola (Finland) will also play in the tournament, which starts Saturday.

The Blackhawks are off for the Christmas break, and return Sunday at home against Carolina.

The Hawks have won seven of their 12 games in December, and sit in third place in the Central Division at 44 points. Dallas holds the division lead with 54 points followed by St. Louis at 46 points.


**2016 WJC: Radovan Bondra makes Slovakia's roster (SCH)

**2016 WJC: Gustav Forsling makes Sweden's roster, Fredrik Olofsson cut (SCH)

**2016 WJC: Joni Tuulola makes Finland's roster (SCH)

**Week ahead: Hawks rest up during Christmas break; WJC begins (SCH)


**Reasons to fire Ken Hitchcock (STLGT)

**Jake Allen is long-term answer in net for Blues (STLGT)


**P.K. Subban surprised kids at Montreal Children's Hospital with magical Christmas party (SBN NHL)

**Ducks headed for lost season rather than championship one (OC Register)

**Coyotes, Mikkel Boedker set to discuss contract (AZ Central Sports)


**What's the Spengler Cup? (PPP)

**Lightning prospect Point named captain of Canada's WJC squad (PHT)