Wrapping up our prospect updates, we turn to the Rockford IceHogs.
Rockford has won three of its last five for a 4-4-1 record that’s good for fifth in the AHL’s Central Division.
Note: Cole Guttman will not appear in the updates below as he remains out with an injury suffered during the first game of the season. We’ll start with the player who’s drawing the most intrigue in Rockford:
Stats: 11 points (5 G, 6 A), 16 SOG in 9 games played
Reichel continues to tear up the AHL at over a point-per game rate, racking up 8 points (4 G, 4 A) in 7 games while being held off the scoresheet only twice in that span. Only AHL veteran Brett Senay has more points for the IceHogs right now. Reichel’s best game so far was in the 8-2 drubbing of the Belville Senators on Oct. 29, when he contributed two goals and an assist.
Reichel just too smooth with it pic.twitter.com/pLSX8mPqMC— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) October 30, 2022
Reichel is also second among all Blackhawks prospects — behind only Kevin Korchinski in the WHL — with a point-per-game rate of 1.22.
Stats: 6 points (1 G, 4 A), 19 SOG in 9 games played
After going without a point in his first four games, Hardman has quietly been playing near the level he was last season with six points in his last five games. He scored his first goal of the season after being moved to the top unit of the power play in a net-front role.
Can't keep up but here's the latest!! pic.twitter.com/cOy8k61z1I— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) October 30, 2022
Stats: 1 points (0 G, 1 A), 9 SOG in 9 games played
Slavin registered his first point (a primary assist) of the season in the IceHogs’ 6-4 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals last Wednesday. This slow start is primarily due to Slavin not receiving many offensive opportunities. Instead, the IceHogs have been relying on his defensive prowess on a checking third line and on the penalty kill.
Stats: 4 points (1 G, 3 A), 13 SOG in 6 games played
Teplý was out with an undisclosed injury for three games, but he’s been playing well since returning to the lineup with four points in his last two games. He was playing so well that he was moved up to play on the top line with Reichel — a partnership that worked out very well for Teplý last season — and on the power play.
The Athletic’s Corey Pronman has been re-ranking previous draft classes, and he mentioned Teplý in article of the 2019 NHL Draft: Pronman had the scoring winger coming in at No. 74 on that list. Safonov was selected No. 105 in that draft. Not a huge jump but an interesting little note.
Stats: 2 points (0 G, 2 A), 13 SOG in 9 games played
At 6-foot-8, it’s almost impossible to miss Crevier despite the fact that he’s not going to show up on the scoresheet too often, although he does have two assists in his last two games. Out of all the IceHogs defensemen, he likely has the strongest shot, even if he does need to use it more. Crevier has typically played on the bottom pairing while seeing penalty kill time this season.
Stats: 9 points (1 G, 8 A), 14 SOG in 8 games played
Galvas has really taken off in recent games with nine points in his last five games. Like most defensemen, he’s been getting his points primarily through assists, using his strong skating and playmaking ability to help his teammates score. Galvas’ production really started after he scored his first goal of the season against the Chicago Wolves on Oct. 28, and he’s been hot since.
Stats: 4 points (0 G, 4 A), 16 SOG in 9 games played
With Ian Mitchell on IR with the Blackhawks, Phillips has seized the opportunity to be the IceHogs No. 1 defensemen and been solid in that role so far. He has a respectable four points in his last five games, though he’s been without a point in the last two.
Stats: 2 points (2 G, 0 A), 10 SOG in 4 games played
As arguably the most NHL-ready defensive prospect, it’s not surprising that Regula has been splitting his time between Chicago and Rockford. As a result, he’s only played in four AHL games, but he made an instant impact in those games with two goals. He also played top minutes on the first power-play unit. His 0.5 points-per-game pace is the second best among Rockford defenders, trailing only Galvas.
Regula is currently with the Blackhawks and has played in one game since he was recalled on Nov. 1 after Seth Jones was placed on IR. He is expected to play in the Blackhawks game against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday.
Alec Regula is quarterbacking the second power-play unit.— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 8, 2022
Ian Mitchell is taking reps on the penalty kill. #Blackhawks
Stats: 2 points (0 G, 2 A), 9 SOG in 7 games played
Vlasic missed the first two games for the IceHogs while recovering from an undisclosed injury (while with the Blackhawks), but he’s been good in a second-pairing role lately. He’s always going to be more defense-leaning, but he’s also contributed to offense recently with two points (both assists) in his last three games.
IceHogs coach Anders Sorensen had nothing but compliments for Vlasic after his debut:
“He killed plays quickly. With the puck I thought he did some good things, but just for him with the range he’s got and the size he’s got, closing in on guys, closing guys off, killing plays defensively, that is something he did real well.”
Stats: .903 save-percentage, 3.47 goals against average in 2 AHL games / .924 save-percentage, 2.77 goals against average in 4 NHL games
Due to an injury to Petr Mrazek, Söderblom was given the opportunity to play some NHL games with the Blackhawks and rose to the occasion. He stopped 122 of 132 shots and had only one sub .910 performance in four games. Söderblom was especially impressive in his debut — which was a bit of a trial-by-fire as he faced 44 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres — and in his first NHL win — which he had a .970 save-percentage in a 2-1 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings.
Söderblom is known for being a positionally sound, poised netminder, but he had the athleticism to make highlight reel saves as well:
Speaking of impressed, Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson praised Söderblom’s play so far:
Stats: .886 save-percentage, 2.69 goals against average in 3 AHL games
Stauber has only started in one AHL game and appeared in two others in relief roles, so don’t read too much into his numbers quite yet. After Söderblom’s recall to the Blackhawks, Stauber was poised to take over in net and get more playing time, but he took a puck to the eye midway through the game against the Belleville Senators on Oct. 29.
Thanks to Maddie for point this out. It looks like #Blackhawks prospect, Jaxson Stauber got a puck to the mask, and it got stuck in the eye hole. Very rare occurrence, but I hope that he’s ok. I’m marking the video as sensitive, for obvious reasons. #IceHogs #HawksProspects https://t.co/PoHFTrH5Rg pic.twitter.com/3jxvJYSEt2— Chicago Prospects (@Chi_Prospects) October 30, 2022
Stauber’s timeline is unknown, but he may be ready to return soon: the IceHogs released Owen Savory, who was signed to a PTO as an emergency backup option.
Up next: The IceHogs head to Texas on Saturday to take on the Stars for the first time this season. The last time Rockford played Texas was in the first round of the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs, when the IceHogs swept the best-of-three series.