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Blackhawks sign David Gust, trade Josiah Slavin to Anaheim

Gust was also recalled from the Rockford IceHogs.

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks added another name to the active roster on Thursday morning, signing forward David Gust to a two-year contract.

The deal carries through the end of the next hockey season and carries an annual cap hit of $762,500. Gust was also recalled from the Rockford IceHogs, which means his NHL debut could be right around the corner.

Gust, who turned 29 on Tuesday, is a native of Orland Park in Chicago’s southwest suburbs and has spent his entire professional hockey career in the AHL after playing four seasons at Ohio State. He’s bounced between multiple AHL teams over the years, playing with the Bakersfield Condors, Charlotte Checkers and Chicago Wolves before landing with the IceHogs last July. In 51 games with the IceHogs this season, Gust has established new career highs with 24 goals, 26 assists and 50 points while leading Rockford in goals and points. He was also one of the IceHogs’ all-star representatives this season.

Given that he’s on the edge of 30, it probably would not be accurate to label Gust as a prospect, considering the long-term plan in place in Chicago. His presence is likely a necessity due to the number of Blackhawks forwards who are injured right now — including Jonathan Toews — as well as the addition of another body the Blackhawks could need after the exodus of players in the next week ahead of the trade deadline.

But it’s also a guy from the Chicagoland area who could be making his NHL debut with his hometown in the upcoming weeks.

In other news, the Blackhawks reportedly traded another player who’s been an IceHogs fixture of the last few seasons, sending forward Josiah Slavin to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Hunter Drew.

As indicated by the tweet below from Scott Powers of The Athletic, it appeared that the Blackhawks were doing Slavin a solid with this move:

Slavin was a seventh-round pick (193rd overall) of the Blackhawks in the 2018 NHL Draft and played in 15 NHL games last season, notching an assist while averaging 12:02 of ice time. The defensive-minded forward had been skating with the IceHogs all season with 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in 51 games.

Drew, 24, was a sixth-round pick (178th overall) of the Ducks in the 2018 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut last season, going without a point in two games. Drew was a defenseman earlier in his career before switching to forward full-time during the 2021-22 NHL season, leading to that NHL debut. This season, Drew had 11 points (5 G, 6 A) in 44 games with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls.