Next in the Chicago Blackhawks prospect update, we focus on those playing in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs.
The IceHogs split back-to-back games against the Texas Stars this week, losing 6-1 on Tuesday before pulling out a 3-2 overtime win on Wednesday. They’re 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games, sitting fourth in the Central Division standings in terms of points percentage (0.611) but slowly closing the gap between themselves and third place Milwaukee Admirals (0.615).
IBEW Highlights: Catch all the action from the overtime stunner against the Stars!https://t.co/Ixd7ZncFvp— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 22, 2022
IBEW Highlights: Not our night but right back at it with Texas tomorrow!https://t.co/5SiVTpSdaL— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 21, 2022
Note: Neither Arvid Söderblom nor Ian Mitchell will be included in the update since they’ve been playing in Chicago.
Stats: 31 points (12 G, 19 A), 53 SOG in 27 games played
Reichel picked up another 12 points (3 G, 7 A) in 10 games, tying him for eighth most in the AHL — and doing so while being about three years younger than everyone above him. Furthermore, he’s one of the top prospects outside the NHL in terms of relative PNHLe — a stat used to project a player’s point potential at the NHL level:
Which NHL prospects have been the most productive relative to their age, league and position?— Mason Black (@NHLRankKing) December 14, 2022
Here are the current PNHLe rankings...#CBJ leads the way after one heck of a #NHLDraft2022 pic.twitter.com/4iPSWolOwo
The consistent high level of Reichel’s play this season earned him a brief one-game stint with the Blackhawks on Dec. 6, but the game was mostly nondescript for the prospect. When he returned to the IceHogs, he picked up right where he left off, scoring goals and outsmarting some of the best goalie prospects in the league in the shootout:
Stats: 16 points (9 G, 7 A), 40 SOG in 19 games played
Reichel is the undisputed star prospect in Rockford, but Guttman hasn’t been far behind when it comes to his offense. He went a point-per-game over the last 10 games with six goals and four assists.
Despite his more diminutive 5-foot-9 frame, Guttman typically scores from in close around the net. Rockford head coach Anders Sorensen likened Guttman’s ability to battle in tough areas with bigger players to Brayden Point stylistically:
“I’m not saying he’s Brayden Point, but he’s got some of those similarities. His willingness to go into hard areas for not being the biggest guy. I think so personally (he can play in the NHL), but time will tell.”
Guttman also has both the skating ability and hands more finesse-type of plays:
Big time breakaway for Cole Guttman!! pic.twitter.com/V5dncPZpLE— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 17, 2022
Stats: 10 points (1 G, 9 A), 40 SOG in 20 games played
Hardman managed to pick up a couple of assists in his last six games, but his struggles to score have been a disappointment considering he managed 19 goals in 43 games last season. He was also on the rotation of players sitting in the press box, missing four games in the process.
Mike Hardman had a couple of chances that did not connect. He can't buy a goal right now.— Jon Fromi (@JonFromi) December 17, 2022
Stats: 7 points (1 G, 6 A), 28 SOG in 27 games played
Slavin is another player who hasn’t been able to find the back of the net as often as last season — during which he had 18 goals in 49 games — but he finally scored his first goal of the season since the last update:
Let me just... see that really quick pic.twitter.com/bvnwernxu1— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 10, 2022
It shouldn’t be surprising the goal above was on the penalty kill, considering that’s where Slavin continues to do his best work for the IceHogs. The defensive-minded center picked up another two assists in his last 10 games.
Stats: 12 points (3 G, 6 A), 41 SOG in 14 games played
Teplý notched another two goals and added an assist in his last eight games, but two of those points came in a single game. He did score the Teddy bear toss goal, though, which is always a delight:
Teply scored and the have been tossed!! pic.twitter.com/pP1aPuwfoZ— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 11, 2022
Teplý has bounced between the second and third lines in recent games, which has definitely impacted his production depending on who his linemates are (Reichel vs. Hardman/Slavin). He also did not play in the last two games against the Texas Stars, but it’s unknown if he was injured or a healthy scratch.
Stats: 3 points (0 G, 3 A), 30 SOG in 25 games played
As usual, Crevier has been quietly steady on defense for Rockford, making progress in using his 6-8, 218 pound frame effectively. He had just one assist over his last nine games, which is typical for the defense-first player, but he is learning how to turn defense into offense:
Stats: 14 points (1 G, 13 A), 43 SOG in 25 games played
Galvas’ cool streak continues, as he assisted on just two goals in his last 10 games. But he’s contributed well on the defensive side of the game. Some of the production drop could be due to Galvas sharing power-play duties more since Roos joined the IceHogs recently.
Stats: 17 points (3 G, 13 A), 40 SOG in 25 games played
Objectively, Phillips has become the most well-rounded of IceHogs defensemen this season. Defensively, Phillips has been extremely steady. And after picking up another goal and two assists in his last seven games, Phillips passed Galvas for the team lead in points while playing predominantly top-pair minutes.
Didn't even need a minute pic.twitter.com/aMJEX1lb0J— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 17, 2022
Phillips has not only been one of the best defensemen for the IceHogs so far this season, he’s been one of the best in the AHL:
Top players U21 years old in AHL for Win Shares pic.twitter.com/TIxHP6eUX9— Thibaud Chatel (@Thibaud_Chatel) December 13, 2022
I think Chicago has a player in Isaak Phillips. He's been among the best AHL defensemen in even-strength scoring and on-ice goal share as a 21-year-old. https://t.co/zh3N2Eonp1 pic.twitter.com/UUaSQBrrn5— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) December 11, 2022
Phillips’ performance has been so strong that it earned him a call-up to the Blackhawks and he made his season debut on Wednesday against the Nashville Predators, playing 17:59 with two shots on goal and five hits. It was the fifth NHL game of Phillips’ career.
Stats: 9 points (3 G, 6 A), 47 SOG in 19 games played
Regula had a strong span of games recently, racking up one goal and five assists — four of which were primary — in his last 10 games. As a result, it’s not surprising that Regula was bumped up to the top pairing with Vlasic injured and Mitchell in Chicago. His lone goal opened the scoring against the Stars Wednesday:
Stats: 4 points (2 G, 2 A), 10 SOG in 4 games played
Roos has played in only five games since being assigned to the IceHogs, but he made an immediate offensive impact with a goal in his first game. He cashed in another goal and two assists in the other four games.
Things we're gonna enjoy seeing- Roos goals pic.twitter.com/8Wcty5V0Cy— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) December 14, 2022
Just to note, Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson implied that Roos demotion had to do with getting him more consistent quality playing time:
“He had a great start. Really intelligent guy and always open to feedback. He’s excited to go play more minutes and more consistently. When there’s a time we need him back, he can be ready to go, rather than be in and out.”
Stats: 6 points (1 G, 5 A), 36 SOG in 21 games played
Vlasic was having a solid defensive season for Rockford, but he’ll be missing at least six weeks after suffering a fractured fibula.
Stats: .888 save-percentage, 3.40 goals against average in 8 AHL games
It’s been difficult to evaluate the goalie prospects in Rockford as they’ve spent time either injured or in Chicago because of all the injuries there. Stauber played in about 2.5 games with the IceHogs since the last update, making 63 saves on 70 shots for a slightly improved .900 save percentage in that span.
Up next: The IceHogs head to Chicago to face the Wolves. It is their final game before the Holiday break.