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THREE STARS: Nordgren playing beyond his years in Finland

A weekly look at how Blackhawks prospects are performing at their various levels

by Austin Siegel / chicagoblackhawks.com

Every Thursday throughout the 2018-19 season, chicagoblackhawks.com will highlight prospects who have stood out for their junior, college or professional team in the previous week's action.

Here are this week's Three Stars.

FIRST STAR
RW Niklas Nordgren (HIFK - Finland)
THE NUMBERS: 9 GP, 4 G, 3 A

The Blackhawks third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft has been on the move this season, as Niklas Nordgren continues to impress in his native Finland. Beginning the season with HIFK's U20 squad, the 18-year-old Nordgren was called up to the senior team in October and hasn't looked back. 

He tallied an assist in HIFK's 4-2 loss to SaiPan on Saturday, giving him three helpers on the season. But the bigger news for Nordgren this week was a spot on the national team for the upcoming U20 Four Nations Tournament. Filled with prospects who could represent Finland at the 2019 World Junior Championship, the tournament will be another chance for Nordgren to shine. 


SECOND STAR:
C Dylan Sikura (Rockford)
THE NUMBERS; 13 GP, 4 G, 6 A

The younger Sikura has formed a dynamic partnership with older brother Tyler in the AHL, giving the surging IceHogs an offensive boost. He scored on Sunday as Rockford topped the Iowa Wild 4-2 and now leads the IceHogs in goals and points through the season's first month.

THIRD STAR:
C Evan Barratt (Penn State)
THE NUMBERS: 7 GP, 3 G, 7 A

Evan Barratt was already Penn State's leader in assists and points before his showstopper of a goal on Saturday. But this audacious tally landed Barratt on the number two spot of SportsCenter's Top Ten Plays and gave the Nittany Lions a spark in 4-3 OT loss to Arizona State. 

Tweet from @NCAAIceHockey: Evan Barratt, are you kidding me?#WeAre @PennStateMHKY pic.twitter.com/wXWWWvA9jH

The goal may have brought national attention Barratt's way, but his sophomore season in Happy Valley couldn't be off to a better start. In just seven games, Barratt has already matched his assist total from a year ago. 

ROCKFORD REPORT

It's been a busy week in Rockford, with Jeremy Colliton promoted to Chicago as the 38th head coach in Blackhawks history. Derek King will take control as Interim Head Coach, a 14-year NHL veteran who previously served as Colliton's assistant coach with the IceHogs. 

King will look to guide a Rockford team that has been coming into their own after a slow start to the 2018-19 season. The IceHogs currently sit fourth in the Central Division on the back of a four-game point streak. Jacob Nilsson scored the game-winner on Sunday, as the IceHogs beat Iowa 4-2. 

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