Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mikael Hakkarainen will be back playing in the United States Hockey League this season. The 2018 fifth-round draft pick left Providence College after only one game and rejoined the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks on Wednesday.
Friars head coach Nate Leaman told The Providence Journal that “managing classes while playing hockey was not enjoyable for (Hakkarainen).”
The 20-year-old Hakkarainen scored 15 goals and 46 points in 36 games with the Lumberjacks last season. The 6-foot, 194-pound center started his USHL career with the Chicago Steel in 2016 before being traded to Muskegon.
The Blackhawks traded their 2019 fifth-round pick to the Canadiens in exchange for the 139th pick to draft Hakkarainen. He is the first center drafted in the fifth round by Chicago since Andrew Shaw, who was also selected 139th overall in 2011.
Hakkarainen and the Lumberjacks (4-0) are set to host the Steel and Youngstown Phantoms on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Muskegon will visit the Steel on Oct. 19 at Fox Valley Ice Arena in suburban Geneva.