Blackhawks center prospect Philipp Kurashev signed an amateur tryout contract with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, on Thursday. He will report immediately to the IceHogs and wear No. 44 for the team.
Kurashev scored a goal with four assists and won 48.6 percent of his faceoffs in the Quebec Remparts’ seven-game first-round series loss to the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL playoffs. The 6-foot, 192-pound Kurashev led the Remparts in scoring with 29 goals and 65 points and won 52.9 percent of his faceoffs in 59 games during the regular season.
The 19-year-old scored a tournament-high six goals and finished seventh among all skaters with seven points for Switzerland at this year’s World Junior Championship. He also was named Player of the Game twice, highlighted by scoring a hat trick in a 4-0 victory over Denmark.
The Blackhawks drafted Kurashev in the fourth round in last year’s NHL draft with one of the picks acquired in the Ryan Hartman trade with Nashville. Chicago then signed Kurashev to a three-year entry-level contract last month.
Kurashev is the third Blackhawks prospect to join the IceHogs after being eliminated from the Canadian Hockey League playoffs. Winger Brandon Hagel and center Reese Johnson made the trip to Rockford after Red Deer was swept by top-seeded Prince Albert in the WHL playoffs. Hagel has one assist in three games, while Johnson has yet to record a point in two contests.
In an additional roster move, defenseman Dmitry Osipov has signed a professional tryout deal with Rockford. He had one assist in four games with IceHogs in March.
The IceHogs also have defenseman Dennis Gilbert returning from his one-game NHL assignment. Gilbert recorded a game-high six hits in 12:46 of ice time and committed one penalty in his NHL debut in Chicago’s 4-3 shootout win over the Blues on Wednesday at the United Center.
Rockford has 76 points and is three points back of Manitoba for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Milwaukee (79) and Texas (77) are also above the IceHogs in the standings. All four teams vying for the final playoff spot have played 71 games.
The IceHogs begin a back-to-back Friday against Texas in Cedar Park, Texas.