It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chicago Blackhawks started calling up some younger guns soon, but today’s move is more out of necessity than anything else
With the Chicago Blackhawks spiraling into a hole that appears likely to suck up their postseason qualification streak, the team made a move today. Defenseman Jan Rutta was placed on injured reserve, while Carl Dahlstrom has been recalled from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
I’d venture a guess we were bound to see some youngsters getting called up sooner rather than later, as it’s pretty clear the Blackhawks aren’t going anywhere this season and are trending younger anyway. It’d behoove them to take a closer look at some of their newbies outside a training camp scenario.
Dahlstrom is a 2013 second-round draft pick of the Blackhawks who has 23 points in 47 games with the IceHogs this season. Hockey’s Future in the past deemed him a “rangy, stay-at-home defenseman” who, while not offensively inclined, is capable of a breakout pass or two.
This has been a breakout season offensively for Dahlstrom in Rockford, however. In 70 games last year, he tallied just 11 points. He never produced more than eight points in a Swedish League season. So perhaps Dahlstrom has more offensive upside than could have been predicted.
Plan moving forward
The Blackhawks obviously aren’t dead in the water just yet when it comes to the 2017-18 postseason, but they’re getting quite close. Therefore, they need to focus on their younger guys.
If there’s a chance to bring up someone like Matthew Highmore, Alexandre Fortin, Luc Snuggerud or the like, the Blackhawks ought to jump at it. While the Blackhawks may not be big-time sellers at the trade deadline, perhaps they could make some small moves to free up roster spots for guys who are more likely part of the team’s future.
The Blackhawks will gain nothing from sitting around with this present roster the rest of the season. It has proven not to be good enough to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, even with the addition of Anthony Duclair recently.
I wouldn’t expect the Blackhawks to make any major moves (please stop talking about trading Brandon Saad), but they can set themselves up for a sort of in-house rebuild if they play their cards right the rest of this season. Dahlstrom is among the starting points in that regard, joining the likes of Alex DeBrincat, Vinnie Hinostroza and David Kampf.