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Blackhawks recall Phillip Danault from AHL

The 2011 first-round pick is back with the Hawks.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled forward Phillip Danault from the AHL's Rockford IceHogs, the team announced Friday. Danault, Chicago's first-round pick in 2011, made his debut with the Hawks during a brief two-game stint last season.

Hip surgery delayed the start of Danault's 2015-16 season. The 22-year-old underwent the procedure in August while the opening day roster was still being sorted out and was given a four-month timetable. In late November, he returned to the ice with Rockford, then played six games there before getting the promotion Friday.

Danault is considered one of the Hawks' top prospects since being drafted 26th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. A two-way forward who has often been referred to as the heir to Marcus Kruger's spot as the team's fourth-line defensive whiz, he's not a flashy player but could be the kind of stabilizing force that every team needs on its bottom six.

The Hawks signed Danault to an entry-level contract in the spring of 2012. He's been playing a key role for the IceHogs ever since then, with the exception of a short trial period with the Hawks last season. In 160 career AHL games, Danault has recorded 20 goals and 48 assists. This season, he has one goal and one assist in six contests.