Blackhawks assign Vinnie Hinostroza to AHL

Chicago cuts its roster down.

The Chicago Blackhawks assigned forward Vinnie Hinostroza to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, the team announced. It’s part of a series of moves made the team Monday to close in on its roster for the season opener.

Hinostroza, 23, split the 2016-17 season between Chicago and Rockford. He’s a speedy forward who can play multiple positions, but has struggled to turn that skating ability into consistent production at the NHL level. In 49 games with the Hawks last season, he put up six goals and eight assists.

The 2012 sixth-round pick also has 21 goals and 39 assists in 86 AHL games, so he’s been pretty productive at that level. The IceHogs should be a much better offensive team than a year ago with players like Hinostroza, Laurent Dauphin, and David Kampf on the roster.

Along with Jordin Tootoo, Tomas Jurco, and Jean-Francois Berube being placed on waivers, the Blackhawks now have 14 forwards, eight defensemen, and two goaltenders on the roster. That includes Marian Hossa and Michal Rozsival, who will be placed on LTIR when the season begins.