The Chicago Blackhawks organization continues to add defensive prospects to the organization. First it was Jan Rutta. Now it is OHL( Ontario Hockey League) defensive player of the year, Darren Raddysh.
The Rockford Icehogs the Chicago Blackhawks AHl affiliate have signed Darren Raddysh to a 1 year contract. The organization was able to sign Raddysh because he was an undrafted free agent. Raddysh has spent the last five seasons with the Erie Otters of the OHL.
He was teammate. with Blackhawks super prospect Alex Debricat for the past several seasons. His brother Taylor Raddysh was also a member of the Otters. Taylor unlike Darren was drafted in 2016 by the Tampa Lighting.
In addition to winning the Max Kaminsky Trophy for OHL best defenseman, He also won Leo Lalonde Trophy as the OHL overage player of the year. He was eligible for the award because he was 20 when the OHL season began.
He is 6’1 and 200 lbs and is a right handed shot. The organization is left handed shot heavy from the Blue line so Raddysh fills a need. Raddysh broke out this season in the OHL compiling 16 goals and 65 assists in 62 games.
The scouting reports suggest that Raddysh is an excellent two-way defender. He has great gap control and great vision. He was also one of the best stretch passers in the OHL per Brock Otten of OhLprospects.ca.
The AHL Contract Is Curious
The fact that Rockford Icehogs signed Raddysh and not the Blackhawks is a curious move. The move is curious because it was believed that several NHL teams were interested in signing Raddysh to as ELC. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks were two notable teams interested in Raddysh.
I would speculate like most that Rockford signed him because the NHL freeze. The NHL free is on until after the Expansion draft. Once the Expansion draft is over, teams are able to make trades before unrestricted free agency begins on July 1st.
Once the freeze is over, we could see the Blackhawks sign Raddysh to an entry level contract. He would likely only get a two year deal because of his age.
With the Blackhawks lacking in young defense-men ready to ascend to the NHL, Stan Bowman is trying to add to his defensive pools with a string of moves this off-season. While I have been critical of Stan Bowman’s cap management, I will give him credit for identifying and signing young talent. He seems to get most of the guys that other team covet and seems to find an international free that turns into a gem. Trevor van Riemdyk was an undrafted free agent out of Maine, Antti Raanta was an international free agent, Scott Darling was an AHL free agent, and list goes on.
When it comes to identifying talent, in Stan we trust.