Blackhawks 2021-22 training camp: Day 3 notes and takeaways

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Blackhawks training camp: Day 3 notes and takeaways originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Here are seven notes, thoughts and takeaways from Day 3 of Blackhawks training camp at Fifth Third Arena:

1. Collin Delia left practice during conditioning drills towards the end of practice on Friday. He did not participate on Saturday either because of a non-COVID-19 related illness, the team said.

2. Colton Dach and Alec Regula each left the scrimmage early with apparent injuries. Dach, most notably, appeared to be holding his right wrist when leaving the ice. Head coach Jeremy Colliton did not have an update yet on either player after practice.

3. With Delia and Kevin Lankinen (COVID-19 protocol) out, Malcolm Subban skated with the main group. Henrik Borgstrom, Adam Gaudette, Ian Mitchell and Alex Nylander were also elevated to Group A while Nicolas Beaudin, Brett Connolly, Philipp Kurashev, Lukas Reichel and Dylan Strome were moved to Groups B/C.

Players were told days in advance of the group changes. Groups B and C scrimmaged on Friday and Saturday, and the goal was to give each player fighting for roles an opportunity to both skate with the main group and participate in the scrimmage.

4. The most notable name that moved from the main group to the second group is Strome, who was skating on the fourth line for the first two practices. You can argue whether or not that's putting him in a position to succeed, but the Blackhawks clearly see him as a player that's competing for a role on the team. 

"At this point, we've got a lot of guys who we're trying to give opportunity to," Colliton said of Strome, who centered a line with Colton Dach and Michal Teply during Saturday's scrimmage. "He's one of them, but even in Group A, there's only 13 forward spots. I guess we could have more in, but then you lose reps for the rest of the players in the group who we're trying to help get ready.

"Certainly he's one of the guys who's got to fight for a role and responsibility. I wouldn't read too much into the lines. It's more like, we've got 13 guys in group A, that's how we laid it out, and things will change as we go."

5. Borgstrom has all the tools to be a very good NHL player. He can do some special things when he has the puck. It's away from it that the Blackhawks are looking for improvement in.

"When the puck is on his stick, he's really good," Colliton said. "He makes a lot of plays as you've seen in the scrimmages and practice today. He is skilled. It's just him working away from the puck, making sure he's got his engine going so that him and his linemates can have the puck."

6. Borgstrom was asked whether the transition back to a smaller ice surface will be an adjustment after spending a year in Europe. He said he felt the adjustment was more challenging moving away from the smaller rink than vice versa, and the way he described it made reporters laugh.

"It was just like the ices were so big, and there was way more time going in the corners, it was like, ‘Whoa! There’s so much time there!’ So that was a little different," Borgstrom said. "Obviously it’s a little different game out here. But there’s been a couple days to get used to it and no more complaints."

7. Riley Stillman is one of the defensemen that's competing for a full-time spot on the back end and his goal is to become a regular. He was paired with Connor Murphy for the first few practices and believes he put himself in a good position over the offseason to accomplish that.

"I spent a lot of time in the gym this summer to try to get that going," Stillman said. "Worked a lot on my skating. I was here in the first week of August to make sure I was here and ready. I made a massive progression in my game coming into this year."

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