The Chicago Blackhawks assigned forwards Mike Hardman and Reese Johnson and defensemen Jakub Galvas and Nicolas Beaudin to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL on Saturday.
All four players were expected to start the 2021-22 season with the IceHogs. Beaudin, Hardman, and Johnson each played in the NHL this past season, while Galvas signed an entry-level contract after playing two seasons for Jukurit in Finland’s top division, Liiga.
The moves came after the Blackhawks’ 5-1 preseason win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at the United Center. The four players heading to Rockford are waiver-exempt and did not play in the game.
With these moves, the Blackhawks training camp roster currently stands at 28 players: 15 forwards, nine defensemen, and four goaltenders. Three of the remaining defensemen in camp are injured: Caleb Jones (wrist), Wyatt Kalynuk (ankle), and Alec Regula (back). Jones and Kalynuk could miss up to six weeks, while Regula’s timeline is unknown.
The Blackhawks will need to make decisions on five players to set the 23-man roster opening-night roster. Chicago could place the injured defensemen on offseason long-term injured reserve to help itself reach the salary cap ceiling.
The Blackhawks play their season opener Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver. The IceHogs open their season the next night against the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.