Newly acquired Blackhawks winger Anthony Duclair is expected to make his debut against the Jets on Friday night. Coach Joel Quenneville gave that indication to reporters Wednesday following the team’s 2-1 loss to the Wild.
Duclair, 22, was acquired from the Coyotes as part of a four-player trade that sent Richard Panik and Laurent Dauphin to Arizona. The winger was once a top prospect with the Rangers, and recorded 44 points in 81 games with the Coyotes as a 20-year-old.
His career has taken an unfortunate turn since that rookie season, which allowed the Blackhawks to acquire him in a low-risk, high-upside deal that’s hard not to like. His future with the team is uncertain as a potential restricted free agent this summer, but now GM Stan Bowman has several months to evaluate what to do with the enigmatic winger.
The Blackhawks used 11 forwards in the loss to the Wild on Wednesday, so there shouldn’t be any problem making room at forward. With that said, Tomas Jurco is probably wondering what the heck is going on if he’s scratched again while Duclair moves immediately into the lineup. Jurco looks likely to be the 13th forward again unless Quenneville makes other changes.