Pro Hockey: Blackhawks send 9 players to Rockford
ROCKFORD – The Chicago Blackhawks have reassigned nine players to the Rockford IceHogs.
Defenseman Jake Ryczek, Chad Krys and Jack Ramsey, along with forwards Tyler Sikura, Kris Versteeg, Graham Knott, Dylan McLaughlin, Nathan Noel and Tim Soderlund were reassigned Friday.
Knott, 22, skated in more than 50 games with the IceHogs for the second straight season in 2018-19, tallying a career-high 13 points (4g, 9a) and 24 penalty minutes in 56 contests. The Etobicoke, Ontario native netted three of his four goals as game-winning tallies and registered points in two of the IceHogs’ final three games of the 2018-19 campaign.
McLaughlin, 24, led Canisius College in scoring with a better than point-per-game average of 40 points (19g, 21a) in 37 NCAA contests as an alternate captain during senior season in 2018-19. The Lancaster, New York native then capped the year with his pro debut for Rockford, notching two assists over seven AHL contests.
Noel, 22, collected two goals and four assists while being limited to just 46 games with the IceHogs during his second full professional season in 2018-19. The St. John’s, Newfoundland native has now combined to skate in 63 AHL games with Rockford over the last two years and register 11 points (4g, 7a) over 21 career ECHL games with the Indy Fuel.
Ryczek, 21, helped Halifax reach the QMJHL championship last season, notching 33 points (9g, 24a) in 51 games during the regular season and finishing third among all team skaters in the playoffs with 13 assists in 23 postseason contests. The Springfield, Massachusetts native seeks to make his professional debut this season after totaling 60 points (16g, 44a) in 84 career QMJHL games with Halifax.
Soderlund, 21, skated in a career-high 48 games and matched his career-best point total (14) in the Swedish Hockey League last season with Frolunda HC and Skelleftea AIK. The Skelleftea, Sweden native then skated in six playoff games in the SHL, posting a pair of penalty minutes.
Krys, 21, tallied 30 points (8g, 12a) as an alternate captain during his junior season at Boston University in 2018-19, including potting a career-high eight goals. The Ridgefield, Connecticut native then made his pro debut with Rockford on March 27 vs. Milwaukee and finished the year with four assists in nine AHL contests with the IceHogs.
Ramsey, 23, served as an alternate captain during senior season at University of Minnesota in 2018-19 before making his pro debut with the Indy Fuel. The Chanhassen, Minnesota native, who is completing a position change from forward to defensemen, notched one goal in four ECHL games last year with Indy.
Sikura, 27, followed a campaign in which he was named the IceHogs’ 2017-18 team MVP with accolades as Rockford’s Unsung Hero of 2018-19 with 19 points (7g, 12a) in 50 games. The Aurora, Ontario native served as an alternate captain last season and enters 2019-20 with 58 points (30g, 28a) over 124 AHL games with Rockford from 2017-19.
Versteeg, 33, split the 2018-19 campaign between the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and Swedish Hockey League (SHL), combining for 16 points (7g, 9a) in 23 games during the regular season. The Lethbridge, Alberta has won two Stanley Cup Championships with the Chicago Blackhawks and enters the 2019-20 season with 127 career points (46g, 81a) in 139 AHL games between Providence (2005-07), Norfolk (2006-07) and Rockford (2007-08).
The IceHogs begin training camp Sunday.