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Blackhawks assign Ian Mitchell to Rockford

That was fast.

Chicago Blackhawks v Boston Bruins Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

It’s another trip back up I-90 for Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ian Mitchell, as the young defenseman was assigned to the Rockford IceHogs on Thursday morning.

Mitchell, 23, made his season debut two weeks ago with the IceHogs after missing the first several weeks of the season with a wrist injury sustained in September. After lighting up the AHL in a three-game stint, he was recalled to Chicago last Friday. In two games, Mitchell did not register a point or a shot on goal while averaging 14:56 of ice time.

After playing in both games last weekend, Mitchell was a healthy scratch on Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars, bumped from the lineup by the return of Seth Jones from injured reserve.

Jones’ return meant that the Blackhawks had eight healthy defensemen, so someone was going down to Rockford. Only Mitchell and Filip Roos are waivers exempt, and there is reportedly a clause in Roos’ contract which would allow him to return to Europe if he ended up in the AHL — although he said in the preseason that he preferred to try his luck in North America.

Mitchell may just be a victim of the circumstances here and could be the first player called back up should any other blue-liners go down with an injury. Something worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses, a season that feels like one of massive importance for Mitchell’s long-term future in Chicago.