The Chicago Blackhawks have signed MacKenzie Entwistle to a three-year, entry-level contract, inking one of the pieces they received in the Marian Hossa trade earlier this year. Entwistle is currently playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL, where he’ll spend the whole season before starting his professional career.
The Hossa trade was almost exclusively about dumping his contract for the Blackhawks, but Entwistle does represent a legitimate prospect that they received in return. Once projected as a first-round pick in the 2017 draft, a bout of mono and disappointing offensive production dropped Entwistle to the third round where the Coyotes eventually picked him with the 69th selection. Despite his obvious talents, he still failed to really explode offensively in 2017-18 and had just 38 points in 49 games before heading into the playoffs. That’s where his production spiked, and Entwistle once again wowed scouts with his ability to drive the puck hard to the net.
A classic large framed winger, Entwistle still needs to add strength and weight as he physically matures in order to really play to his strengths. He’ll flash plus hands at times, but needs to be able to rely on his power and reach at both ends of the ice. This is just the next step in that development process, one which the Blackhawks hope they can hurry along in order to provide their NHL club with some more talent up front.