Wednesday was an important day for the Chicago Blackhawks organization. The franchise's top prospect, Lukas Reichel, was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs with a plan to play on Thursday night. However, the team made a handful of other moves in addition to Reichel's promotion.
Although Kevin Lankinen's return from COVID protocol was announced on Monday, the team announced his activation once again. In addition to Lankinen, the team activated Erik Gustafsson from protocols as well.
In relation to Gustafsson's activation, the team demoted defenseman Nicolas Beaudin to the taxi squad. The former first-round pick has only skated in two games this season, most recently against the Arizona Coyotes on January 6. In that game, he only skated 1:11 over two shifts.
In addition, a plethora of other players have been sent to Rockford. Kurtis Gabriel, Mike Hardman, Josiah Slavin, Cale Morris, and Arvid Soderblom have all been assigned to the AHL. Of those five players, only Cale Morris failed to appear in a game with Chicago.
The hype for Thursday will certainly be around Lukas Reichel. The prospect's promotion is a glimpse into the future for the franchise.
What's On Tap Next?
The Blackhawks are in action on Thursday at the United Center. Tomorrow's 7:30 p.m. puck drop is a special one, as Andrew Shaw is being honored for his legacy. Shaw played for both the Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens, Thursday's opponent, during his career.