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4 Blackhawks prospects to play in 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase

Kirby Dach and Alexis Gravel (Canada), Antti Saarela (Finland) and Alex Vlasic (United States) will head to Michigan.

2019 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Blackhawks prospects Kirby Dach, Alexis Gravel, Antti Saarela and Alex Vlasic will play in the World Junior Summer Showcase, starting Friday in Michigan.

The Summer Showcase, which runs July 26 to Aug. 3 in Plymouth, Michigan, includes international competitions between Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States in preparation for the 2020 World Junior Championship.

Dach is the top prospect in the Blackhawks’ system after being selected No. 3 overall in last month’s draft following a 73-point season (25 goals, 48 assists) for the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL. The 18-year-old had two goals and five assists in five games for Canada at last year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Gravel — a 2018 sixth-round pick — was 33-16 with a 2.49 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage for the Halifax Mooseheads, who finished as runner-ups to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the QMJHL Presidents’ Cup Final and Memorial Cup. The 19-year-old will return to Halifax.

Saarela, 18, tallied 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 24 Liiga games for Luuko in Finland’s top division. The 2019 fourth-round pick will play the 2019-20 Liiga season with Ilves. He potted a goal and three points in five games at the under-18 World Junior Championship for Finland last year.

Vlasic, also 18, will play for the U.S. white team. The defenseman had 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) in 61 games for the United States National Development Program under-18 team last season and one assist during the U.S.’ silver-medal run at the U18 Worlds prior to being selected in the second round of the NHL draft last month. The Wilmette, Illinois native is committed to Boston University.

Illinois ties

Vlasic is one of six Chicago area products that will play for the U.S.

Jack Drury of Winnetka and Jacob Pivonka of Woodridge will join Vlasic on the white team. Both players were drafted in 2018, with Drury going in the second round to the Hurricanes and Pivonka in the fourth round to the Islanders. Drury plays at Harvard, while Pivonka is closer to home at Notre Dame.

The blue team will have Alex Turcotte of Island Lake and Owen Lindmark of Naperville. Turcotte was selected fifth overall in last month’s draft by the Kings and Lindmark was taken in the fifth round by the Panthers. Both players are committed to Wisconsin.

Trevor Janicke, who is from Maple Grove, Minnesota, and played last season with the Bloomington-based Central Illinois Flying Aces will be on the white team. He’ll be a freshman at Notre Dame in the fall.

Luke Toporowski is also on the white team. He grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa, but played for the Chicago Mission program before joining the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL.

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Finland

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USA Team Blue

USA Team White

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