Following Saturday night’s 3-2 loss to the Columubus Blue Jackets at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks continued the process of trimming down their training camp roster ahead of next Thursday’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fortin was the breakout star of last year’s offseason. The undrafted forward received an invitation to the 2016 prospect camp and was so impressive that the team invited him to training camp and had him under contract by the end of it.
After returning to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Fortin posted 22 goals and 30 assists in 52 games during the 2016-17 season. Fortin dealt with a sports hernia surgery at the end of the season, though, and that injury required surgery in the offseason. It limited Fortin’s availability for the prospect camp in July and may have affected his ability to make a run at a roster spot with the Blackhawks at this year’s training camp, even after adding 20 pounds of muscle following last year’s breakout camp performance.
Still, there’s plenty to like about the 6-0, 175-pound forward from Canada who’s only 20 years old. With so many forwards still battling for roster spots in Chicago right now, it’s likely that Fortin will spend the entire 2017-18 season in Rockford, miles ahead of where he stood as an undrafted, free agent invite to prospect camp invite last summer.