Prior to tonight’s tilt at the United Center with the Nashville Predators, the Blackhawks made some roster moves. Forward Artem Anisimov and defenseman Gustav Forsling were activated from injured reserve, while defenseman Henri Jokiharju was loaned the Finnish World Junior program.
Anisimov was nursing a potential concussion sustained against the Montreal Canadiens a week ago and was forced to sit out for precautionary reasons. The 30-year-old Russian center has 15 points (6G-9A) in 31 games this season for the Blackhawks.
Forsling has been out since December 6th with a minor shoulder injury sustained against the Anaheim Ducks. The 22-year-old Swedish defenseman has put up 5 points (1G-4A) in 11 games since returning from off-season wrist surgery.
To make room for Forsling, rookie Finnish defenseman Henri Joliharju was loaned to the Finnish World Junior program for the duration of the World Junior Championship tournament. The move makes sense with the Blackhawks struggling and carrying far too many defensemen. Jokiharju can potentially boost his confidence while playing for his country. He will miss as many as eight Blackhawks games and return, at the latest, January 7, 2019 for the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This also means that Jokiharju will not be available for the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic in South Bend.