The Chicago Blackhawks called up rookie forward Vinnie Hinostroza from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL on Thursday night. He won’t be playing Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but coach Joel Quenneville expects him in the lineup before the end of the regular season, according to BHTV’s Eric Lear.
Hinostroza, 22, got sent down to Rockford in late February and didn’t get recalled until this week. He recorded three goals, four assists, and 35 shots on goal in 15 games with the IceHogs.
The Blackhawks now have 16 forwards, eight defensemen, and two goalies on their active roster, which has no limit following the trade deadline. The only rule is that you need to stay below the salary cap, and the Blackhawks have done that, although Cap Friendly projects they’ll end the year with just $35,164 in space at this pace.
Hinostroza gives Quenneville another option for his bottom six forwards, and one that brings a bit more offense than, say, Andrew Desjardins or Jordin Tootoo. Those two have totaled three points in a combined 90 appearances this season, which is a number Hinostroza has reached in a single game.
It’s unclear when the rookie forward will make his way back into the lineup, as he’s in the press box Friday, but with Rockford’s season ending soon, it makes to bring him back into the fold. Maybe there’s a chance he can get hot and play his way into some playoff minutes, too.