Adam Boqvist will return to the lineup this weekend for the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, after missing two games with a facial injury after taking a puck to the mouth during last Friday’s morning skate.
Boqvist, a right-handed defenseman, has eight shots and a plus-1 rating in three games during his rookie season while being paired with fellow Swede Philip Holm. Boqvist, the eighth pick in the 2018 NHL draft, scored 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) in 54 regular-season games with the London Knights in the OHL last season.
Rockford (2-3) will also see goaltender Kevin Lankinen back in action from an undisclosed injury for their weekend back-to-back in Cleveland (3-0-1). Lankinen stopped 30 of 33 shots in the IceHogs’ season-opening 3-2 loss at Iowa.
The IceHogs, however, will be without wingers John Quenneville (upper-body) and Kris Versteeg (hip).
“Steeger is still out for the weekend and then obviously Quenneville won’t be ready for the weekend,” IceHogs head coach Derek King said Wednesday. “It’s just bumps and bruises, stuff that’s nagging. We’re so early in the season and we have extra bodies. There’s no reason to push these guys and rush them back.”
Quenneville suffered his injury during the IceHogs’ 3-2 overtime road win over the Chicago Wolves on Saturday when he was crushed into the boards in front of Rockford’s bench. He skated off to the dressing room favoring his left arm. He tallied a shorthanded goal the night before in Rockford’s 3-2 victory, its first win of the season. The 33-year-old Versteeg, who has one assist in four games, left Friday’s game with a tweaked hip.
“I told them that ‘I don’t want you guys coming back rushing things just because you want to play and then all of sudden you get hit again and you’re hurt even longer,’” King said. “I won’t... I do not want to deal with what we had last (season), so we’re going to be real cautious with these guys and maybe add an extra few days off before they’re ready to come back.”
Rockford begins its back-to-back against the Monsters at 6 p.m. Friday then has a noon puck drop Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.