Blackhawks prospects Victor Ejdsell and Roope Laavainen will be involved in this season’s Champions Hockey League, which begins group play Aug. 29. Goaltender Wouter Peeters could also suit up.
Ejdsell signed a two-year contract with the SHL’s Färjestad BK in May after one full season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. The Blackhawks retained the 24-year-old forward’s NHL rights by giving him a qualifying offer. He scored 12 goals and 29 points in 61 AHL games.
Chicago acquired Ejdsell, first- and fourth-round picks (Nicolas Beaudin and Phillip Kurashev) from the Predators in exchange for Ryan Hartman in February 2018. Ejdsell has one assist in six NHL games.
Ejdsell previously played in the Färjestad BK organization from 2013-16 on their junior and SHL teams. Färjestad BK finish atop the SHL with 101 points during the regular season last season, but fell in seven games to Djurgårdens IF in the semifinals.
Laavainen, a 2017 fourth-round pick, played for five different teams last season in Finland with three being on loan from HPK. The big-body (6-foot-2, 201 pounds) defensive-minded defenseman is back with HPK, where he had seven points (one goal, six assists) in 53 Liiga games the past two seasons. He has played on HPK’s second pairing throughout the preseason. The Blackhawks own his rights until 2021.
Peeters, who was selected in the third round in 2016, joined Tappara in Finland on a tryout contract in June after posting a .908 save percentage in eight games for JHT in Finland’s third division. He also had a three-game stint with Lincoln in the USHL.
The CHL is an annual 32-team tournament, which runs through Feb. 4. The tournament is comprised of teams from various European first-tier leagues, including 24 teams from the six founding leagues in Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. The Continental Cup champions and national champions from Belarus, Denmark, France, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and United Kingdom also compete.
Teams were drawn into eight groups of four teams for six round-robin games both home and away. The top two teams from each group qualify for the round of 16.
Finland: *HPK, Kärpät, Tappara, Pelicans
Sweden: Frölunda HC (2019 CHL winner), Färjestad BK, Luleå HF, Djurgårdens IF, Skellefteå AIK
Czech Republic: *Ocelári Trinec, Bìlì Tygri Liberec, HC Plzen, Mountfield HK
Switzerland: *SC Bern, EV Zug, Lausanne HC, EHC Biel, HC Ambrì-Piotta
Germany: *Adler Mannheim, Red Bull München, Augsburger Panther
Austria: *EC KAC, Graz 99ers, Vienna Capitals
United Kingdom: Belfast Giants (Continental Cup wild card), Cardiff Devils
Belarus: *Yunost Minsk
Denmark: *Frisk Asker
Slovakia: HC ‘05 Banskà Bystrica
France: *Brûleurs de Loups
Norway: *Rungsted Ishockey
Slovakia: *HC ’05 Banská Bystrica
Norway: *Storhamar Ishockey
Poland: *GKS Tychy
Ejdsell: Färjestad BK in Group G
Aug. 29/Sept. 7: vs. HC ‘05 Banskà Bystrica (11 a.m./7:15 a.m.)
Aug. 31/Sept. 5: vs. HC Ambrì-Piotta (8:30 a.m./12:45 p.m.)
Oct. 8/15: vs. Red Bull München (12:30 p.m./11 a.m.)
Laavainen: HPK in Group B
Aug. 29/Sept. 5: vs. HC Plzen (10 a.m./11 a.m.)
Aug. 31/Sept. 7: vs. EV Zug (10 a.m./11 a.m.)
Oct. 8/15: vs. Rungsted Ishockey (11 a.m./12:30 p.m.)
Peeters: Tappara in Group A
Aug. 29/Sept. 6: vs. EC KAC (12:30 p.m./11 a.m.)
Aug. 31/Sept. 8: vs. EHC Biel (12:45 p.m./11 a.m.)
Oct. 8/15: vs. Frisk Asker (11:30 a.m./11 a.m.)
How to watch
CHL games are available on NHL Network and TSN in the United States and Canada, respectively. If games are not broadcasted live on TV, they’ll be available via the CHL website/app.