If the Chicago Blackhawks make the playoffs this season and Anthony Duclair is in the lineup, it's completely plausible that the 22-year-old will feel completely at ease.
That's because Duclair -- whom the Hawks acquired in a trade with Arizona on Wednesday -- already has flourished on one of hockey's grandest stages and came out wearing gold.
Scouting reportBlackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets at United Center, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Radio: WGN 720-AM
The skinny: The first-place Jets are 5-0-1 in their past six games despite losing star winger Mark Scheifele to an upper-body injury on Dec. 27. He is expected to miss 4-6 more weeks. … Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers lead Winnipeg (26-11-7) with 19 goals each. The 19-year-old Laine has 55 goals in 117 NHL games. Ehlers is only 21 and has 59 goals in 198 games. … Winnipeg's power play ranks second (25.6 percent), and the Jets are the third-highest scoring team in the NHL. They've averaged 4.3 goals the past seven games. … Winnipeg is a league-best 21-0-1 when leading after two periods. … The Hawks opened up a 3-0 first-period lead and won 5-1 at Winnipeg on Dec. 14. These teams won't play again until March 15, but three of the Hawks' last 12 games are against the Jets.
Next: Detroit Red Wings at United Center, 11:30 a.m. Sunday
-- John Dietz
"That whole tournament has made me a better player," Duclair told Newsday after Canada won the 2015 World Juniors title by defeating Russia 5-4 in the title game. "The atmosphere was unbelievable. You couldn't hear yourself speaking. It was the most pressure I've ever experienced."
Duclair, who had 34 goals in 172 games for Arizona over the past 2½ seasons, has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Hawks, though, are excited about the Quebec native's scoring potential and hope he can help lead them to a 10th straight postseason berth.
"I remember watching him at world juniors and ripping it up," Patrick Kane said. "He seems like he's got some speed and some finish. Hopefully he's one of those players who can develop and be a good player for us."
Joel Quenneville seemed to indicate Duclair will be playing sooner rather than later, but we'll have to wait and see if the Hawks' coach decides to insert him in the lineup against Winnipeg on Friday.
Whether Duclair plays Friday, Sunday against Detroit or after the bye week, general manager Stan Bowman understands that new players often need time to get adjusted to new surroundings.
"We have to be patient," Bowman said. "Sometimes there's expectations he's going to come in and set the world on fire, and that would be great, but we've got to give him a chance. We've seen this with some of our other players coming from new teams, it's an adjustment. …
"It's not going to happen at the snap of a finger, but I think just with his skill set, he's going to fit in nicely."
He's feeling it:
After a rough start (3G, 1A in 13 games), Nick Schmaltz has been absolutely on fire, racking up 28 points in the last 26 games.
Schmaltz ran his points streak to five games Wednesday by assisting on Brent Seabrook's first-period goal, and he has looked completely at ease centering Patrick Kane's line since Artem Anisimov went on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.
"He's a threat every time he has the puck," Kane said. "His speed through the middle of the ice is something we've really been trying to utilize. He's playing great for us."
One More Shift:
The Blackhawks will honor Eric Daze with their One More Shift promotion before the team hosts Detroit on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
Daze played his entire career with the Hawks (1994-2006) and ranks 14th in team history in goals (226) and 29th in points (398). Daze's best season came in 2001-02, when he had 38 goals and 70 points.
Jordan Oesterle played more than any other defenseman Wednesday, getting 26:03 of ice time in the Hawks' 2-1 loss to Minnesota. Connor Murphy played just 7:59. … Vinnie Hinostroza's six-game points streak was snapped vs. the Wild. He had 3 shots on goal and played 17:24.