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Blackhawks expected to sign NCAA star

Please Bowman… we NEED some good news right now…

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According to a report from Scott Powers of The Athletic the Chicago Blackhawks are expected to sign NCAA superstar Dylan Sikura to an entry-level contract when his season with Northeastern University finishes.

Sikura is a former 6th round pick (178th overall) of the Hawks from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, the native of Aurora, Ontario has had a stellar college career with Northeastern. The 22-year-old forward has 17 goals and 48 points in 31 games this season, following up on his remarkable 21 goal, 57 point season from a year ago.

DobberProspects.com’s Tony Carr projects the 6’0”, 165 lb Sikura to be a bottom-six forward in the NHL with some offensive upside. He’ll need to add some muscle and bulk to his 6 foot frame, but once he does he could become the Hawks’ next version of Andrew Shaw or David Bolland.

With the Hawks clearly out of the playoff picture, the team would be smart to audition some of their younger players, including Sikura. Established youngsters like Alex DeBrincat, Vinnie Hinostroza and Matthew Highmore should continue to see some ice time, but don’t be surprised if John Hayden, Nathan Noel and the recently acquired Victor Ejdsell see some action, as well.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and the rest of the team's front-office staff held off on doing a full "fire sale" at the NHL's trade deadline, but they did make waves by shipping forward Ryan Hartman to the rival Nashville Predators in exchange for a a package of picks and Edjsell. The team also traded veteran forward Tommy Wingels to the Boston Bruins for a fifth round pick.

Well these depth moves may not be the change that Hawks fans have been clamouring for, they at least show that the team's management group is focused on bringing in younger assets and building for the future. Losing Hartman may hurt now, but in the long-run Bowman is banking on the idea that the team can use the assets to re-stock their prospect cupboard and come out ahead in the future.