Blackhawks prospects MacKenzie Entwistle, Alexis Gravel and Jake Ryczek will compete this month in Halifax in the Memorial Cup, which is the annual round-robin tournament to determine the Canadian Hockey League champion.
It’s the second straight year Entwistle will compete in the tournament after advancing to the semifinals last year with the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs. Entwistle, who was acquired by Chicago last June in a trade with Arizona, has seven goals and 21 points during this year’s playoffs while playing primarily on the top line with the Guelph Storm. Entwistle had one goal and one assist at last year’s tournament.
Gravel and Ryczek haven’t played in the Memorial Cup before, but they’re familiar with Scotiabank Centre as players for the host team Halifax Mooseheads. Ryczek, a 2016 seventh-round pick, has 13 assists in the postseason for Halifax, who fell in six games to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s President Cup Final. Gravel, a 2018 sixth-round pick, is 14-8 with a 2.73 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 23 playoff games during his third QMJHL campaign.
The Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders round out the tournament field.
Players to watch
NHL prospect: C, Nick Suzuki (MTL via 2017 VGS)
Draft eligible: C, Keegan Stevenson (No. 95 in NA)
NHL prospect: C, Benoit-Olivier Groulx (2018 ANA)
Draft eligible: C, Raphael Lavoie (No. 20 in NA)
NHL prospect: G, Ian Scott (2017 TOR)
Draft eligible: RW, Brett Leason (No. 25 in NA)
NHL prospect: D, Noah Dobson (2018 NYI)
Draft eligible: RW, Alex Beaucage (No. 64 in NA)
Who was the last Blackhawks prospect to win?
Chicago didn’t have a prospect compete in last year’s tournament, but it did see a prospect win the Memorial Cup in 2017. Graham Knott scored a power-play goal in the Windsor Spitfires’ 4-3 home win over Alex DeBrincat and the Erie Otters.
Past Memorial Cup appearances
Guelph: Runner-up (1998, 2014); Fourth place (1996, 2002, 2004)
Halifax: 2013 champions, 2000 third place
Prince Albert: 1985 champions
Rouyn-Noranda: 2016 runner-up
Memorial Cup schedule
May 17: Prince Albert vs. Halifax, 6 p.m.
May 18: Rouyn-Noranda vs. Guelph, 2:30 p.m.
May 19: Halifax vs. Guelph, 6 p.m.
May 20: Rouyn-Noranda vs. Prince Albert, 6 p.m.
May 21: Guelph vs. Prince Albert, 6 p.m.
May 22: Halifax vs. Rouyn-Noranda, 6 p.m.
May 23: *Tiebreaker, 6 p.m.
May 24: Semifinal, 6 p.m.
May 26: Championship, 6 p.m.
All times Central
All games will be broadcasted on NHL Network.