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Blackhawks sign NCAA free agent Mike Hardman

The Blackhawks made the news official on Tuesday.

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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:

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.

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.

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.