On Thursday morning, it was announced that Rockford IceHogs defenseman Robin Norell would be playing for Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Hockey League this season on loan from the Chicago Blackhawks. Norell has played the last two seasons with the IceHogs and still has one-year left on his current entry-level contract with Chicago.
Robin Norell To Play For Djurgårdens This Season
Robin Norell was a fourth-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 draft, 111th overall. He joined the IceHogs organization for the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs but would return to Djurgårdens IF for the 2015-16 season before again joining the IceHogs late in the season, playing in the final eight regular season games and making two appearances in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Norell’s first full season with Rockford came during the 2016-17 season, playing in 65 games and totaling nine points (G, 8A) with a minus-21 rating. He improved his numbers last season with the IceHogs, skating in 63 games with seven points (2G, 5A) and a plus-2 rating, but was bounced around the lineup all season, playing both on defense and on the wing at different points. Ultimately, Norell was kept out of the lineup late in the season and for the Calder Cup Playoffs.
In total, Norell skated in 136 regular season games for the Rockford IceHogs and five Calder Cup Playoff games. He returns to his former club in Sweden, which he started his developmental career with in the 2009-10 season. Norell has over 250 games in the Djurgårdens organization and has been training this offseason with the club in Sweden before announcing the loan agreement.
In a statement from Djurgårdens’ website, Norell said:
“It will be great fun to play games. That’s what I’m here for. Feels very nice to belong to Djurgårdens. Very nice to be back where everything started so just to continue on that track and hope for a good season.”
With Norell heading to the SHL, the Rockford IceHogs defensive group opens up another opportunity for ice-time. The log-jam on the blue-line for defensive prospects will be a focal point for the IceHogs this season, and the loan of Norell to Djurgårdens gives another young prospect the chance to make their mark in the AHL.
The Swedish Hockey League season begins at the time that the Chicago Blackhawks will be opening their training camp. The Rockford IceHogs open the 2018-19 regular season on the road against the Cleveland Monsters on October 5.
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