Blackhawks routed by Predators in Ethan Del Mastro’s NHL debut

Ethan Del Mastro and the Blackhawks lost 5-1 to the Predators on Friday.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

When the Blackhawks drafted Connor Bedard, one of many things Bedard thought about was his excitement to eventually play in the NHL with Canadian international teammates Kevin Korchinski, Ethan Del Mastro and Colton Dach.

He has done so alongside Korchinski all season long. And in the Hawks’ lopsided 5-1 loss Friday against the Predators — their fourth-to-last game of the season — he got to do so alongside Del Mastro, who made his NHL debut.

Coach Luke Richardson said the Hawks called up Del Mastro, a 21-year-old defenseman, to give him a “cookie” as a reward for his excellent season in Rockford. The 6-4 Ontario native and former fourth-round pick has paced IceHogs defensemen with 37 points in 66 AHL games and represented the team in the AHL All-Star Game.

He logged 18:35 of ice time Friday on a pairing with Connor Murphy, who returned after his long injury absence.

“It’s pretty surreal when you step on the ice for warmups,” Del Mastro said. “[Predators forward Ryan] O’Reilly, I was just watching him in the playoffs last year as a hometown Leaf guy…and then you’re playing against him. It’s pretty cool.”

Del Mastro will likely play in the home finale Sunday against the Hurricanes and then return to Rockford — prior to the Hawks’ last two games, on the road against the Golden Knights and Kings — to gear up for the AHL playoffs. He’s in line to compete for a full-time NHL roster spot in training camp next season, though.

  Meghan Markle’s awkward polo moment is latest in history of odd viral mishaps

There wasn’t much else of note in the Hawks’ third consecutive blowout loss, a span during which they’ve been outscored 14-3. Filip Forsberg produced a hat trick for the Predators, who scored on all three of their power plays.

Frozen out

Two of the three Hawks prospects in the NCAA Frozen Four were eliminated in the semifinals. Only Aidan Thompson (Denver) will play in the championship Saturday, whereas Frank Nazar (Michigan) and Ryan Greene (Boston University) saw their sophomore seasons end.

Nazar and Greene may or may not sign NHL entry-level contracts this weekend. If they do, they could play in some of the Hawks’ three remaining games.

“Nazar is impressive to me,” Richardson said. “He gets around the ice and really seems to read the play well… It’s exciting that we might have a chance to have a look at him — [I’m] not sure yet. I’m sure it’s disappointing for him not to be in the final, but I think he had a really great, great year. So that’s looking good for us.”

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *