Welcome to Blackhawk Up’s first edition of the Rockford Report. In this weekly segment, we will highlight the action down on the farm, in the Chicago Blackhawks’ primary farm team. With the ‘Hogs just about to get their season started, they named the team’s final roster on Thursday.
Here’s the final roster:
Alex Broadhurst: Entering his first year of pro hockey. Spent last season with the London Knights of the OHL, winning the league championship.
Terry Broadhurst: Split last season between the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL (Blackhawks affiliate) and the ‘Hogs. Scored 13 points in 31 AHL games. Brother of Alex, grew up just outside Chicago.
Wade Brookbank: 36-year old journeyman, playing for 16 teams in his career. Has played 127 NHL games. Spent last season in Rockford, with 1 point and 100 PIMS in 28 games. Older brother of Chicago defenseman Sheldon Brookbank.
Philip Danault: 20 years old, entering his first full year of pro after a successful QMJHL career. Was one of two Blackhawks’ first round selections (26th overall) in 2011.
Byron Froese: Played 57 games with the Piggies in 2010-11, but most recently spent time with Toledo. The 22-year old center was a fourth-round pick in 2009.
Drew Leblanc: Entering his first year of pro, after spending 5 seasons with St. Cloud State. Played in two games with the Blackhawks in 2013. Versatile forward, and a highly touted prospect.
Mark McNeil: Finished up his over-age season in the WHL, entering his first year of pro. Big frame, praised for being an effective power forward. Was the other first round pick in 2011 (18th overall).
Brad Mills: Recorded 16 points in 33 games in his first season with the IceHogs in 2012-13. Has played 31 NHL games, all with the New Jersey Devils. Got an extended look at Blackhawks’ training camp.
Jeremy Morin: A player who many expected to be on the Blackhawks this year, Morin was sent down, and Joakim Nordstrom took his place. Scored 58 points in 67 games with Rockford last season. Will be the first to call if the Blackhawks are in need of a winger.
Pat Mullane: First year of pro, after spending four years with Boston College of the Hockey East conference. Scored 43 points in 38 games there last season, good for third on the team.
Brandon Pirri: Perhaps the Blackhawks’ most NHL-ready prospect, Pirri was expected to be the second line center in Chicago this season, but Michal Handzus got the call instead. Lead the AHL in points last season, with 75 in 76 games.
Garret Ross: Entering his first year of professional hockey, after scoring 90 points in 67 games with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit last season.
Maxim Shalunov: 2013-14 will be Maxim’s first season in North America, after spending time with the Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL.
Brad Winchester: A free-agent pickup in the summer of 2013, Winchester has played 390 NHL games, and the 32-year old scored 27 points in 37 AHL games with Milwaukee last season.
Adam Clendening: Scored 46 points and was +17 in a dynamite rookie year in Rockford last season. Could be in Chicago as early as next season. Look out for Clendening to get a call-up sometime this year.
Klas Dahlbeck: Was +11 and registered 6 points in 70 games last season with the ‘Hogs. Was a third round selection in 2011. Labeled as a two-way defenseman.
Joe Gleason: Entering his rookie AHL season, after scoring 18 points and amassing only 18 PIMS with the University of North Dakota in 2012-13.
Jared Nightingale: Has played in 320 career AHL games, but has yet to play in a National Hockey League contest. Has played for 11 teams in his career. 31 years old.
Dylan Olsen: Entering his fourth season with Rockford, Olsen appeared in 28 contests with Chicago in 2011-12. Was the Blackhawks’ first round pick (28th overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft.
Viktor Svedberg: 2013-14 will be Svedberg’s rookie AHL campaign, after spending the last 3 seasons in the Swedish Elite League.
Antti Raanta: The third-string goalie for Chicago, Raanta will get the call in case of any injury. Takes over the starting job from the departed Carter Hutton. Recorded a .943% save percentage in 45 games in the Finnish Elite League last season.
Kent Simpson: Splitting last season with Toledo and Rockford, Simpson managed a .924 SV% with the IceHogs in two games, and a .912% SV% with the Walleye in 41 contests. The 21-year old was a second-round pick in the 2010 draft.
In other news, the IceHogs send down goaltender Mac Carruth and forward David Gilbert to the Walleye. They have nine rookies on the team, and seven of those have never played an AHL game before.
The IceHogs have lost the likes of Ben Smith, Jimmy Hayes, and Ryan Stanton to the Blackhawks, but will try to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009-10. Rockford kicks off the season with a double-header in Texas on Saturday, October 12th, and Sunday the 13th.
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