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Blackhawks AHL prospect update for 1/13: Regula heating up at the right time

The 6-foot-4 defensemen is finally hitting his stride offensively.

Brad Repplinger

Next in the Chicago Blackhawks prospect update, we focus on those playing in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs.

Despite losing their last two games to the Iowa Wild, the Rockford IceHogs have been making steady progress in the Central Division rankings, now in third place thanks to a 4-2-1 stretch. The absence of Lukas Reichel and Brett Seney (not technically a prospect) were obvious in the last two losses, but with the latter returning, it’s possible Rockford could overtake the Milwaukee Admirals for the second position in the division.

Note: Neither an Mitchell nor Isaak Phillips will be included below since they haven’t played any games with Rockford since the last update.

Forwards

Lukas Reichel

Stats: 36 points (14 G, 22 A), 53 SOG in 31 games played

Before being recalled to the Blackhawks, Reichel continued at a point-per-game rate since the last update with five points (2 G, 3 A) in five games. His last game with the IceHogs was a three-point game effort, which included the overtime winner:

Obviously, Reichel is one of the three players that was selected to represent Rockford at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic taking place Feb. 5 and 6. It’s unknown if Reichel will participate as his assignment with the Blackhawks doesn’t have a definitive timeline.

Cole Guttman

Stats: 22 points (11 G, 11 A), 40 SOG in 26 games played

Guttman picked up another six points (2 G, 4 A) in his last seven games, third behind Reichel and Alec Regula during this span.

As usual, both of Guttman’s goals since the last update were from in close. Whether it’s taking the puck through traffic or just being ready to knock in rebounds, Guttman is the type of player who lives around the net for scoring opportunities.

If Reichel is unable to participate in the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic, it’s possible that Guttman will get the nod in his place.

Mike Hardman

Stats: 12 points (2 G, 10 A), 40 SOG in 25 games played

Hardman got to play in a majority of the games since the last update and added a goal and an assist in those five games. He’s still a high-effort player who hasn’t quite seen the results he had last season, but he did get a few looks on the power play recently and cashed in on the opportunity this past weekend:

Josiah Slavin

Stats: 7 points (1 G, 6 A), 28 SOG in 27 games played

As is typical, Slavin didn’t register a point in his last seven games, but played an important role defensively in that span. The penalty kill is especially good when he’s on the ice: he has been on the ice for only one power-play goal against in 31 opportunities.

His defensive ability and work ethic have many believing that Slavin will be a useful, shutdown type of player in the NHL — perhaps even this season:

Michael Teplý

Stats: 12 points (5 G, 7 A), 41 SOG in 27 games played

Unfortunately for Teplý, his production has been slowing down as the season progressed, and he hit his lowest points rate so far with zero points in his last five games. He’s now been rotated out of the lineup on two more occasions, including the latest game against the Wild.

Defensemen

Louis Crevier

Stats: 3 points (0 G, 3 A), 30 SOG in 25 games played

There’s not much to say about Crevier in the latest sample of games as he was even more quiet than his own typical standards. This isn’t a bad thing for a defenseman, but he also didn’t have any stand-out moments defensively.

Jakub Galvas

Stats: 17 points (1 G, 16 A), 43 SOG in 32 games played

Galvas notched a respectable three assists in his last seven games, but it’s really defensive play that’s noticeably grown as the season has progressed. His ability to break up plays in the defensive zone has been especially impressive in recent games.

For more on Galvas’ shift to a two-way defensemen, check out this update on all things Blackhawks from Ben Pope of the Sun-Times:

Alec Regula

Stats: 16 points (5 G, 11 A), 47 SOG in 26 games played

After a slow start to the season, Regula has been on quite a hot streak lately, posting a point-per-game in the last seven (2 G, 5 A). His 0.62 PPG rate for the season is now second best among IceHogs defensemen, only slightly behind Isaak Phillips’ 0.63. The defensive side of his play has been fine, though his offense really has been his best quality lately.

Pope interviewed Regula about overcoming his earlier struggles and working on having a “healthier mindset”:

Filip Roos

Stats: 7 points (3 G, 4 A), 10 SOG in 12 games played

Roos cooled a bit in this most recent sample, but is still producing a solid three points (1 G, 2 A) in his last seven games. Roos was shifted to the second power-play unit in most games as Regula surged.

Alex Vlasic

Stats: 6 points (1 G, 5 A), 36 SOG in 23 games played

Vlasic looked pretty decent in his two games back on the ice since suffering a fractured fibula on Dec. 16. He didn’t pick up any points, but he seemed to be playing second pair minutes in both games.

Goalies

Arvid Söderblom

Stats: .862 save-percentage, 4.17 goals against average in 5 AHL games

Söderblom had a difficult time transitioning back to the AHL after his stint with the Blackhawks. He was pulled midway through his first game back in Rockford on Dec. 20 after he allowed five goals on 12 shots and then followed that up with a .850 save-percentage performance on Dec. 23. The team in front didn’t help out much in either game, but the Swedish netminder likely was disappointed in his performance.

Unfortunately, the hits just kept coming for Söderblom as he suffered a groin injury about six minutes into the Dec. 28 game against the Grand Rapid Griffins. He is currently on injured reserve but is expected back within the next week or two.

Jaxson Stauber

Stats: .896 save-percentage, 3.06 goals against average in 8 AHL games

Stauber had gotten the nod for a majority of Rockford’s games lately, starting in four of the last seven games. In that span, he’s gone 3-1-0-0 and stopped 100 of 110 shots for a solid .909 save-percentage. His seasonal stats are still mediocre, but this is the second sample of games in which Stauber has taken steady strides towards improvement.

Stauber was recalled by the Blackhawks on Jan. 11, but his stint with the team is likely to be short as he’s only up until Alex Stalock recovers from an illness.

Up next: The IceHogs continue their roadtrip, this time heading to Colorado to take on the Eagles for back-to-back games on Jan. 13 and 14. This will be the first time these two teams have ever met in team history.