Morning Bag Skate: Blackhawks sign prospect Nathan Noel; Nick Schmaltz to play at World Championship

Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

Chicago Blackhawks signed 2016 fourth-round pick Nathan Noel to a three-year entry-level contract Thursday. USA Hockey also announced Nick Schmaltz will join fellow Chicago teammate Trevor van Riemsdyk next month at the World Championship.

One day removed from signing his contract, Noel and Matthew Highmore will play for Saint John in Game 5 at home against Chicoutimi in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal. The series is tied 2-2.

Hawks prospect Alex DeBrincat and the Erie Otters will play against Owen Sound at home in Game 5 of the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference Final. The series is also tied 2-2.


**Hawks sign Noel to 3-year ELC (SCH)

**Hawks to sign Czech forward Kampf to 2-year deal, per report (SCH)

**Schmaltz to play for Team USA at Worlds (SCH)

**Hawks ‘among front-runners’ to sign Swedish free agent defenseman Calle Rosen, per report (SCH)

**A six-point plan to fixing the Hawks for the future (The Athletic)

**Hawks President McDonough says status quo unacceptable (Chicago Tribune)


**Preds’ Fiala out for playoffs with broken femur (On The Forecheck)

**Candidates to replace Fiala in Preds’ lineup (On The Forecheck)

**Blues see positives heading into Game 2 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

**Ortiz: Blues seek to end home-ice playoff funk (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

**Stars sign Janmark to 1-Year, $700K extension (Defending Big D)

**Stars season grades: Esa Lindell (Defending Big D)

**Jets season review: Nic Petan (Arctic Ice Hockey)

**Jets season review: Mark Dano (Arctic Ice Hockey)

**Jets season review: Joel Armia (Arctic Ice Hockey)


**Stanley Cup playoff schedule, matchups (SBN)

**Foligno, Getzlaf, Giordano are Messier finalists (TSN)

**RECAP: Fleury, Penguins hang on for Game 1 win against Capitals (Pensburgh)

**RECAP: Karlsson, Anderson lead Senators over Rangers in Game 1 (Silver Seven)

**Sutter looking for right fit, not retiring (TSN)

**Coyotes fire assistant coach Newell Brown (PHT)

**Panthers looking for ‘modern day guy’ as next head coach (PHT)

**Letestu emerging as hired gun on Oilers' PP (TSN)

**Leafs to sign 2016 second-round pick Grundstrom (PHT)


**Judge certifies minimum wage lawsuit against Ontario Hockey League (Sportsnet)

**WHL board of governors approves sale of Kootenay Ice (Sportsnet)

**Highly-touted WHL goaltender opts for unusual career course (Sportsnet)