The Chicago Blackhawks have been making moves this season. Whether it’s up and down, mostly down, in the standings or firing Joel Quenneville and promoting Jeremy Colliton, or making trades on the NHL level with the Arizona Coyotes, there has been a lot of movement early this season from Chicago. As far as players coming and going from the Rockford IceHogs, it’s relatively been quiet. As the season progresses, here are a few players who could be in line for recalls to the Blackhawks from the AHL.
Possible Chicago Blackhawks Recalls: Forwards
This Summer saw a lot of interest and chips put behind the fact that Victor Ejdsell and Dylan Sikura were penciled into the NHL regular lineup. Neither one of those players made the Blackhawks’ roster, but there was Luke Johnson and Alexandre Fortin making their NHL debuts early this year. Sikura and Ejdsell remain on the outside looking in at the Blackhawks from the Rockford IceHogs roster, but they remain two of the top options upfront for potential NHL call-ups.
Outside of those two, another lesser-recognized option has emerged after the 20-game mark for the IceHogs. Anthony Louis, last year’s point-leader in Rockford, is again near the top of point-production for the Hogs and continues to be an offensive-creator for a recently starved Rockford attack.
- Dylan Sikura: 22 GP, 15 Points (6G, 9A), +2
- Sikura has lived up to his AHL hype for the most part this season. Leading the IceHogs in points and shots on goal (79), his ability to drive the Rockford offense is his biggest asset. If Sikura is going to make the leap to the NHL this season, he’ll have to prove that he can be more than a perimeter player or that he can create his own space with his speed.
- Victor Ejdsell: 21 GP, 11 Points (4G, 7A), -4
- Ejdsell’s hype-train has lost a bit of steam after joining the organization late last season. Still one of the better shots on the IceHogs, Ejdsell continues to show has the skill-set to succeed in at the AHL level, he’ll have to show it more consistently if he wants to get a shot with Chicago.
- Anthony Louis: 22 GP, 13 Points (8G, 5A), +2
- Another offensive driver like Sikura, Anthony Louis remains a consistent top-player for the IceHogs. After a breakout season last year, the third-year pro has the foot-speed and hands to make an impact in any game, but his size continues to be a hindrance. If Louis can continue to show his worth on both special teams units for Rockford and maintain his offensive production-rate, he should be rewarded with his first NHL action in Chicago.
- Jacob Nilsson: 22 GP, 7 Points ( 2G, 5A), -3
- The Blackhawks organization took a flyer on Nilsson this summer, much like they did with players in the past like Michael Kempny and David Kampf. While both of those players have gone on to become NHL-regulars, Nilsson may be a bit away from that standard at the moment. A reliable secondary offensive option for Rockford, if Nilsson continues on his pace and proves his worth on the IceHogs penalty-kill, he may get a shot in Chicago.
- Jordan Schroeder: 13 GP, 10 Points (4G, 6A), -5
- One of the veterans of the IceHogs forward group, Schroeder has been a key figure to the Rockford attack, when he is healthy. He leads the IceHogs in point-per-game percentage and has played a key role on the powerplay as of late. If for some reason the Blackhawks want to save their younger players from the horrors of their current form, a veteran like Schroeder could be an option.
Possible Chicago Blackhawks Recalls: Defensemen
While the Blackhawks’ defensive group has been arguably their biggest weakness this season, the rotation between Chicago and Rockford for blue-liners has been quiet. Gustav Forsling was an early-season player who was thought to be in line for a spot in the Blackhawks’ rotation, but began the year out of action with an injury. Once he was healthy, Forsling spent a cup of coffee’s worth of time with the IceHogs before making the leap to the NHL. Chicago has yet to send down any defensemen to the IceHogs this year, but if a move were made, there are two standouts among the Rockford group.
- Carl Dahlstrom: 18 GP, 7 Points (G, 6A), -6
- One of the more experienced defensemen on the IceHogs roster, Dahlstrom plays a game that the Blackhawks don’t really have in their defensive group at the moment: shut-down defense and blocking pucks. While he may not be the second-coming of Niklas Hjalmarsson, Dahlstrom’s physical presence and ability to skate with the puck could be enough for Chicago to give him another look late this season.
- Darren Raddysh: 22 GP, 14 Points (5G, 9A), +2
- What Chicago doesn’t necessarily need is another offensive-minded defenseman. But with Raddysh, the IceHogs are benefiting from a player who can hold his own in both ends and makes his offensive bread with a dangerous slap-shot. His ability to contribute on the Rockford powerplay has been noticeable and he could be a “hey, we haven’t seen you yet” type of Blackhawks recall later this year.
- Lucas Carlsson: 21 GP, 9 Points (2G, 7A), -5
- One of the seven rookie regulars for the IceHogs this season, Carlsson is the lone first-year defenseman who has played in every game this season that he has been healthy. Carlsson already has two professional seasons under his belt in the SHL with Brynäs IF and his experience shows. Responsible in his own end, Carlsson has been paired with Dahlstrom all season long and has been able to show off a bit of his offensive skill-set early this year.
- Joni Tuulola: 18 GP, 3 Points (G, 2A), -2
- Tuulola joined the IceHogs late last season and made an immediate impression on Jeremy Colliton, eventually edging Darren Raddysh out of the lineup in the Western Conference Finals in the Calder Cup Playoffs last season. Playing with a good mixture of finesse and physicality, Tuulola is still a raw talent, but might have a shot at making the jump if he continues to progress.
For Rockford, the IceHogs are off until December 1, when play host for a Saturday Night game against the Milwaukee Admirals at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. Puck drop is set for 6pm CT. After that, the IceHogs host the San Antonio Rampage for a Sunday afternoon contest. Puck drop at the BMO Harris Bank Center is set for 4pm CT on Sunday.
For the Blackhawks, coming off of Tuesday night’s big loss against the Vegas Golden Knights, Chicago travels North of the border for a Thursday night game against the Winnipeg Jets. Puck drop on Thursday is set for 7pm CT at the Bell MTS Place. After that, the Blackhawks are on the road against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm CT at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.