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Blackhawks' Trevor van Riemsdyk returns to practice

Chicago needs help on the blue line, and it might being coming soon.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday morning, Rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk skated with the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time since suffering a left patella fracture against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 16.

The injury occurred when van Riemsdyk took a shot off his left knee from Dallas' Trevor Daley.

The 23-year-old van Riemsdyk had one assist in 18 games this season and was a steadying factor along the blue line despite limited NHL experience. van Riemsdyk was originally credited with a goal in the Blackhawks' 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 9, but the goal was later awarded to Kris Versteeg. The assist was his first NHL point.

van Riemsdyk, whose older brother James plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs, was signed by the Hawks as an undrafted free agent out of the University of New Hampshire.

Five different players have tried to fill the sixth defenseman spot that van Riemsdyk filled for the first month of the season, and none have done did it as well. Unless a trade comes before the March 2 deadline, he looks to be the best option in the role.

It's too much to ask for a 23-year-old rookie to be the savior to the blue line troubles, but his imminent return will help the back end.

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