It’s that time again when we check in on the Chicago Blackhawks prospects playing in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs.
It’s been about six weeks since our last update on the IceHogs, and they’ve been pretty mediocre over the last 15 games with a 6-6-3 record. While they’ve lost nine of those games, Rockford picked up enough points to maintain their position as fifth in the Central Division and, therefore, still in the AHL playoff picture. The IceHogs continued to struggle to consistently score, having only 2.2 goals per game over the last six week — and most of those goals are not being scored by Blackhawks prospects.
With much of their forward talent spending time in the NHL recently, the IceHogs have especially had issues in their last five games, winning just twice. Their last two games were a close 2-1 overtime loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins and a 5-1 drumming by the Chicago Wolves.
IBEW Highlights: Catch all of the action from tonight's game belowhttps://t.co/L3xEpm8Hxz— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) March 11, 2023
IBEW Highlights: Catch all of the action from tonight's gamehttps://t.co/iLQK71J7Yx— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) March 12, 2023
Stats: 46 points (17 G, 29 A), 75 SOG in 51 games played
Rechiel had three goals and three assists in his last 11 games before his most recent recall to the Blackhawks. This 0.54 points-per-game rate is slightly better than his last sample of 0.5 points-per-game, but obviously still far below his highs for the season. This puts his points-per-game at 0.91 for the season now, which is still very respectable, but it’s a bit of drag when considering how prolific he was producing earlier.
Booyah, Lukas Reichel! pic.twitter.com/vmdEjHY7E2— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 4, 2023
As we’ve seen in the NHL, Reichel has still looked very good when with the IceHogs, they just don’t have the forward talent to support him as well with all the roster changes and fluctuations over the last couple of months.
Stats: 30 points (16 G, 14 A), 80 SOG in 39 games played
Guttman only played in four games since the last update before he was recalled to the Blackhawks. He notched two goals and added two assists in that span — one of the few forwards still consistently scoring — so his absence was very noticeable.
so fresh so clean pic.twitter.com/mdeqcJPcFI— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 11, 2023
Just gonna tap, tap, tap it in pic.twitter.com/rkShH1NDFN— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 12, 2023
Guttman spent 14 games (4 G, 2 A) with the Blackhawks before he was shut down for the season to have shoulder surgery.
Stats: 16 points (4 G, 12 A), 61 SOG in 49 games played
Hardman has been moved up to playing on the top-two lines for the most part, but he’s not had much to show for in terms of points: he has just one goal and one assist in 15 games since the last update. His role on his line is still needed — he’s typically the one who “fetches” the puck or provides net-front presence — but it’s still not the results he wants when it comes to production.
HOT HOT HOT pic.twitter.com/0wJI8u4BQY— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 12, 2023
Hardman was recalled by the Blackhawks on Monday but hasn’t played in an NHL game yet.
Stats: 19 points (7 G, 12 A), 53 SOG in 45 games played
Teplý had one of his most productive periods all season with seven points (2 G, 5 A) in 12 games. With several absences due to injuries, trades and call-ups to Chicago, he has played predominantly on the top line the last two weeks — though he’s still performs best when aligned with Reichel.
A lot of his increase in points can be attributed to him more consistently flashing his heads-up passing skills, like this flip of a pass that set up a goal:
Whatta pass whatta goaaalll pic.twitter.com/yl62YRJe0a— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) March 4, 2023
He also had a couple of goals that displayed his impressive shot, something he doesn’t use enough:
Teply ties it up! pic.twitter.com/4UyU5v5Dot— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 23, 2023
Stats: 5 points (0 G, 5 A), 53 SOG in 53 games played
Crevier continues to be a fairly consistent, defense-first type of player in Rockford. He’s rarely going to have any highlight-reel worthy move, even defensively, but he also hasn’t made any egregious mistakes lately, either. That solid level of play has earned him — and his primary defensive partner Vlasic — a role on the IceHogs’ top-pairing. Crevier typically plays lower overall minutes than Phillips on the second-pair, but more time at 5-on-5.
Crevier also picked up two assists in his 15 games, both secondary.
Stats: 24 points (2 G, 22 A), 43 SOG in 50 games played
Galvas missed some time due to a concussion, but he did get into nine of the last 15 IceHogs games. Unfortunately for him, some of the other defensemen have just been a little better recently — either offensively or defensively — so he’s been regulated mostly to third-pair minutes. He had one goal and one assist in those nine games but has since gone seven games without a point.
Galvas just cleaning up— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 5, 2023
1-1 / 7:52 left in the second pic.twitter.com/n0BwWTF2Ee
Stats: 20 points (4 G, 16 A), 47 SOG in 37 games played
Phillips slowed a bit in terms offense in this sample with just one goal and one assist in his last eight AHL games. He spent five games in the NHL — picking up one assist while there — but has no points in the four games since returning to Rockford.
WIDE. OPEN. pic.twitter.com/uws8MCkakf— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 12, 2023
Defensively, Phillips has been as solid as usual, playing on the top-four and in all situations when with the IceHogs. He — along with Vlasic — have been wearing the “A” with so many of the leadership players either traded away or playing with the Blackhawks.
Stats: 19 points (5 G, 14 A), 86 SOG in 40 games played
Regula only played in six games since the last update — picking up three assists — due to a lower-body injury suffered in early February. He’s also been in concussion protocol since Feb. 23. Like Guttman, his absence is definitely missed, as one of the more offensive defensemen on the team.
Regula is arguably the best defensemen in Rockford at getting his shot through traffic and often on goal, creating rebounds or deflection opportunities (see the Hardman highlight above for the latter).
Teamwork making the dream work pic.twitter.com/Bj0vBwCuEa— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 18, 2023
Stats: 9 points (3 G, 6 A), 35 SOG in 28 games played
Roos has been very quiet in recent games, notching only one assist in his last 10 since the last update. There are no real complaints about his defensive play, but he also didn’t do that much to make himself stand out compared to other players.
Roos played in two NHL games (with no points), and honestly performed more notably in those games than in many for the IceHogs.
#NHL GameScore Impact Card for Chicago Blackhawks on 2023-03-10:#Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/3Dq383n1St— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) March 11, 2023
Filip Roos challenging Caleb Jones for the Vezina. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/ngVLeQ8qPC— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) March 11, 2023
Stats: 15 points (2 G, 13 A), 49 SOG in 47 games played
While most of the IceHogs have been struggling with offense, Vlasic has picked up his pace with seven points (1 G, 6 A) since the last update — almost doubling his points total for the season in just the last 15 games. With injuries to Galvas and Regula along with regular NHL call-ups for Phillips, Vlasic has been given more offensive opportunity — including power-play time — and he’s done an admirable job in those situations by helping set up his teammates for scoring chances.
For Vlasic’s one goal, it was an overtime winner in which he made a great defensive move to poke check the puck away from an opposing player before initiating a counter-attack with Reichel:
WHAT. A. FINISH. pic.twitter.com/oi08lrs2Qu— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 18, 2023
As mentioned above in the Crevier section, Vlasic has been skating a lot on the top pairing, often playing the most of any Rockford defenseman. He’s also been acting as an alternate captain in several games.
Stats: .896 save-percentage, 3.14 goals against average in 21 AHL games
After a serious rough patch for the Swedish netminder, it looks like Söderblom is back on track: he had a 4-3-3 record, .918 save-percentage and 2.55 goals against average while starting in 10 of the last 15 games for the IceHogs. With Rockford’s forward lineup decimated by injuries and call-ups — and the resulting loss of goal production — Söderblom is often the main reason the IceHogs are even competitive in many games.
Soderblom shuts it downnnnnnn in OT pic.twitter.com/O0Btt4i3FF— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) February 5, 2023
Söderblom’s had several standout games since the last Rockford check-in, but the most impressive was on March 4 when he made 44 saves on 45 shots in a shootout win over the Laval Rocket. He was named the AHL’s First Star for that performance:
Saturday's Three Stars of the Night ⤵️— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) March 5, 2023
⭐️ Arvid Soderblom @goicehogs
⭐️⭐️ Jonny Brodzinski @WolfPackAHL
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Gage Alexander @SDGullsAHL pic.twitter.com/QYzp4bCvEL
Mark Lazerus of The Athletic has a great article on Söderblom’s perseverance through his performance struggles, including some insight into how the Blackhawks organization views his future in the NHL:
After the toughest stretch of his career in both the NHL and AHL, Arvid Söderblom has bounced back in a big way, and he once again looks like the Blackhawks' No. 1 goalie of the future.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 8, 2023
From @ByScottPowers: https://t.co/QiIOZulzhq
Stats: .897 save-percentage, 3.17 goals against average in 14 AHL games
With his assignment in Chicago for much of the last six week and Söderblom on a hot streak, Stauber only drew into two AHL games since the last up. He performed moderately well in those games, saving 65 of 72 shots for a .902 save-percentage.
Stauber hasn’t been able to play consistently in the AHL, but his play for the Blackhawks definitely showed his potential, even if he’s not the top goalie prospect in the organization.
Jaxson Stauber is the 14th NHL goalie in the past 12 years to win at least 5 of his first 6 starts.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 23, 2023
The others are Fasth, Andersen, Talbot, Martin Jones, Gibson, Darling, Condon, Lindgren, Samsonov, Shesterkin, Swayman, Knight and Kochetkov. Most of those turned out pretty well.
Up next: The IceHogs have three home games in row, starting Wednesday night against the Manitoba Moose followed by back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday against the Colorado Eagles.
Hogs are back at home sweet home for GAMEDAY!#TheFutureIsHere | @RoofersLocal11— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) March 15, 2023
: https://t.co/FHLGZDbsrA, Hogs App
: https://t.co/pbVpyKJwvL pic.twitter.com/jVJSBSnctt
Also of note, Notre Dame alum Ryder Rolston has joined the IceHogs on a PTO after being signed by the Blackhawks Monday. It’s been about six weeks since he had surgery on his collarbone, so there is a chance he could play for the IceHogs before this season ends, and he is eligible to play in the AHL playoffs.
NEWS: Rookie Rolston Joins Rockford After Signing with Blackhawkshttps://t.co/4udAYgQrqH— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) March 13, 2023