The Blackhawks assigned forward Luke Johnson to the AHL on Thursday to create a roster spot for star goaltender Corey Crawford, who was activated off injured reserve.
Johnson recorded two shots and was 38.46 on faceoffs, but did not log a point in three games with Chicago. The 24-year-old averaged about 9 minutes per game on the Blackhawks’ fourth line.
Johnson, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick, tallied 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 73 regular-season games for the Rockford IceHogs last season. He added four goals and four assists in 13 Calder Cup playoff games. After a strong second AHL season, Johnson improved his nutrition and lost more than 15 pounds in the offseason to get down to 180 pounds to become faster.
Johnson was one of three rookies to earn a roster spot out of training camp. Winger Dominik Kahun and defenseman Henri Jokiharju, a 2017 first-round pick, were the others.
The IceHogs are off to a 2-2 start this season, and visit Tucson for a back-to-back starting Friday.