Rockford IceHogs’ Signing Tyler Sikura Part Of A Larger Plan

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 6: Dylan Sikura
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 6: Dylan Sikura /
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 6: Dylan Sikura
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 6: Dylan Sikura /

The Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, may have a longer-term plan when it comes to a recent addition

The Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, have announced the signings of Tyler Sikura and Alex Wideman. While some believe the signing of Sikura is a good depth move, I believe the signing is also part of a deeper plan.

In case you have been under a rock, the Blackhawks currently own the rights to Tyler’s younger brother, Dylan Sikura. Dylan was drafted by the Blackhawks in the sixth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Since that time, the Blackhawks have yet to sign Dylan to an entry-level contract. After a great junior year at Northeastern, the Blackhawks were desperate to sign him. After an impressive prospect camp, Dylan decided to return to Northeastern to play his senior season.

If the Blackhawks do not sign Dylan after his senior season, he can opt for free agency as of August in 2018. That is why the signing of Tyler is very curious to me. It seems like the Blackhawks are killing two birds with one stone. They are adding to their AHL/ECHL depth and trying to entice a top prospect to sign with the organization.

Learning from past mistakes

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The signing of Tyler also shows that Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has learned from his previous mistakes. Former Blackhawks prospect and current New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes was at a senior at Boston College when the Blackhawks traded his older brother, Jimmy Hayes, to the Florida Panthers for Kris Versteeg.

While many believed that Kevin was not going to sign with the Blackhawks anyways, I am sure that trading away his brother didn’t help the situation.

It now appears that Bowman and company are trying to take a different approach for Dylan. It is a smart move and I hope it pans out.

There are other examples of how signing or not signing the brother a current player has not panned out for an organization. The biggest example that stands out in my mind is the Boston Bruins and Dougie Hamilton.

Hamilton was in a contract dispute with the Bruins. Rumor had it that the Bruins were unwilling to trade Dougie brother, Freddie to a contract. Douggie refused to sign with the Bruins and was traded to Calgary. Once Dougie was traded to Calgary, Freddie Hamilton was traded to the Calgary Flames.

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This is situation is very similar to that of current Blackhawk John Hayden. Hayden also had an impressive camp and opted to return to Yale for his senior year. He then signed a deal with the Blackhawks and was able to play right away. That could be the plan for Tyler.

The move of signing Tyler is a good move for the Blackhawks on and off the ice.