The defending champs have cemented the lineup that’ll open their defense of the Stanley Cup.
On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced defenseman Mike Kostka and forward Joakim Nordstrom had made the final roster, according to CSN Chicago.
Kostka, 25, is the better known of the two, appearing in 35 games last year for Toronto, but it’s Nordstrom that might make the bigger impact when Chicago opens at home against Washington on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Swede, a third-round pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, looks like a potential replacement for Michael Frolik as the club’s penalty killing specialist up front. Nordstrom has been skating with fellow Swede Marcus Kruger and projects to be a fourth-liner to open the year.
Nordstrom made the ‘Hawks over highly-touted prospects like Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri, the latter of whom led AHL Rockford in scoring last season.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.