Blackhawks assign Victor Ejdsell, Alexandre Fortin, Matthew Highmore to AHL

The preseason roster cuts continue.

The Chicago Blackhawks continued inching closer toward the roster they’ll have for opening night by assigning three more forwards to the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday morning: Victor Ejdsell, Alexandre Fortin and Matthew Highmore.

Easily the biggest surprise out of that trio is Ejdsell, who was part of the IceHogs run to the conference finals during last year’s Calder Cup Playoffs and followed up that breakout performance by being one of Chicago’s top performers during the prospect tournament earlier this month in Traverse City, Mich. Ejdsell had no points in two preseason games and had just one shot on goal during his 13:11 of ice time during Tuesday night’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Ejdsell, 23, came to the Blackhawks as another piece of the Ryan Hartman trade to the Nashville Predators last season and figures to be high on the list of players to be called up from Rockford, should Chicago need a body because of injuries or poor performances or both.

Highmore, who made his NHL debut late last season and scored twice in 13 games, continued to display the type of solid, all-around hockey that made him an undrafted free agent signing of the Hawks in March 2017. But with Chicago having a plethora of bottom-six forwards, the 22-year-old Highmore will have the chance to again solidify a more prominent role in Rockford.

Fortin, 21, had a goal during the Hawks’ preseason opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets last week and is still yet to make his NHL debut.

The Hawks roster currently sits at 28, with five more players to be cut before they open the regular season Oct. 4 on the road against the Ottawa Senators.