It looks like the 2022-23 NHL season debut for one of the Chicago Blackhawks prospects is on its way this weekend.
On Friday morning, the team announced that defenseman Ian Mitchell, a 2017 second-round pick (57th overall) was recalled from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
Hello Ian Mitchell! pic.twitter.com/7I2OgbCRxo— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 18, 2022
In a corresponding move on Thursday, Alec Regula was sent to Rockford.
Mitchell heads to Chicago after a brief but stellar stint in Rockford, where he started the season following a wrist injury sustained in September that sidelined him for about six weeks. Mitchell returned this week, scoring two goals with three assists in three games, punctuated by a four-point performance on Wednesday that earned him AHL-wide honors:
Wednesday's Three Stars of the Night ⤵️— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) November 17, 2022
⭐️ Trey Fix-Wolansky (@monstershockey)
⭐️⭐️ Ian Mitchell (@goicehogs)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Strauss Mann (@sjbarracuda) pic.twitter.com/vXgMLU8YgU
Both of Mitchell’s goals came on the power play in that game, which is two more than any Blackhawks defenseman has scored in over 18 months. The last Blackhawks defenseman to score a power-play goal was Connor Murphy on May 1, 2021 — not one such goal was scored during the entire 2021-22 season.
Given that Caleb Jones has been running the No. 1 power play unit while Seth Jones has been out with an injury and that Caleb Jones was on the ice for five goals against in Chicago’s 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Mitchell replace Caleb Jones in the lineup and handle that top power-play point.