According to reports from ESPN’s John Buccigross and Elite Prospects’ J.D. Burke, the Blackhawks are close to signing Boston College right wing Mike Hardman, a 22-year old undrafted NCAA free agent.
The news comes just after Boston College was upset by St. Cloud State in the NCAA Regional Final.
[UPDATE] The Blackhawks officially announced the move in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon:
Howdy Hardy! @BCHockey forward Mike Hardman has signed a 2-year deal through the 2021-22 season!— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 30, 2021
Hardman (who will wear No. 86) has been assigned to the taxi squad to begin his professional career immediately. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/JID5EGfTcd
Hardman just completed his sophomore season at BC and had 19 points (10 G, 9 A) in 24 NCAA games, good for third on the team. Although Hardman isn’t necessarily considered one of the top NCAA free agents — the Athletic’s Corey Pronman had him ranked 22nd — he has been a key player for Boston College the last couple of years. The 6-foot-2, 198-pounder skated mainly with 2019 first-round picks Alex Newhook (Colorado) and Matthew Boldy (Minnesota) over the last two seasons and finished with 44 points (22 G, 22 A) in 58 career NCAA games.
Just heard from a source that Mike Hardman (#Blackhawks) is locking up an ELC with the Chicago Blackhawks.— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) March 29, 2021
Just finished his Sophomore season with 19 points in 24 games. Connected the two in this article detailing NCAA Free Agency from last week.https://t.co/G70vX4yHqT
New role for Bowman
TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported Monday night that Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman is expected to be the GM of USA Hockey’s team for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Bowman was not part of USA Hockey’s previous Olympic management groups, but he was an assistant GM for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The Blackhawks also made several roster moves Monday morning: defensemen Ian Mitchell, Lucas Carlsson and Wyatt Kalynuk and forwards Reese Johnson and MacKenzie Entwistle were re-assigned to the NHL taxi squad while forwards Brandon Pirri and Mikael Hakkarainen and defenseman Alec Regula were rea-ssigned to the Rockford IceHogs. The roster moves were made to allow several of the young players to participate in the IceHogs’ weekend games.
ROSTER MOVES: Reese Johnson, MacKenzie Entwistle, Ian Mitchell, Lucas Carlsson and Wyatt Kalynuk were re-assigned to the taxi squad, and forwards Brandon Pirri and Mikael Hakkarainen and defenseman Alec Regula were re-assigned to Rockford. #Blackhawks https://t.co/WhTH6HUUAS— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 29, 2021
Strome’s newest linemate
In final news, Dylan Strome missed Sunday night’s game against the Predators to be present for the birth of his daughter, Weslie Margaret Strome. The forward is expected to be available when the Blackhawks face the Hurricanes Tuesday.
Hopefully, there will be many baby goals!
The Blackhawks play the Hurricanes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.