09/28/2011 11:57 AM
- From the Rockford Register Star by Reed Schreck: (link)
ROCKFORD – It happened a week ago today for David Toews. He got to play on the same line with his brother Jonathan, the young captain and former Stanley Cup standout of the Chicago Blackhawks.
They were on the ice together for a regular shift and then a power play in a 4-2 exhibition game loss at Edmonton. Their scoreless results still produced great memories and, perhaps, a glimpse into the future as well.
“It was awesome,” said David, after finishing his first practice with the Rockford IceHogs on Monday at the BMO Harris Bank Center. “Obviously, it was a dream come true starting out on his wing. It was a little nerve wracking, but I tried to take it as any other game although I wanted to enjoy it.
“We were able to enjoy it afterward and talk about how great it was. Once the puck drops, you’ve got to be able to play no matter what.”
To one day rejoin Jonathan, 23, for good, David, 21, first needs to make – and then show progress – in the American Hockey League level. He’s in competition with 35 other players at the moment, so he knows he could end up beginning the year with Toledo of the East Coast Hockey League.
“Everyone has a chance to be here (for opening day),” new IceHogs coach Ted Dent said. “Whether they are contracted players or tryout players, we’ll let it play out. Their play will dictate whether they are here or not.”
Dent said the younger Toews “seems to be a responsible hockey player. He’s pretty good along the walls and protects the puck very well. Obviously, this is his first professional NHL experience, being in Chicago and now Rockford. We’ll see how he fits in and how well he does.”
Toews was acquired Sept. 9 from the New York Islanders for future considerations. The Isles selected Toews in the third round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Toews played for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League last season, notching 20 goals and 28 assists in 60 games. He spent the previous two years at North Dakota, totaling nine goals and 17 assists in 55 college games.
It is Toews’ goal to be in an IceHogs uniform when the team opens its regular season on Oct. 8 at home against Grand Rapids.
“There are a lot of good players here and a lot of good talent in the system,” Toews said. “It’s a battle every day. You have to work hard every day and show what you can do. I’m hoping to get the chance to do that in the next week and will give it everything I’ve got.”
NOTE: The Chicago Blackhawks assigned forwards Kyle Beach, Jimmy Hayes, and Peter LeBlanc, and defensemen Brian Connelly and Joe Lavin to the Rockford IceHogs on Monday.
The Blackhawks’ training camp roster now stands at 33 active players, which includes 21 forwards, 9 defensemen, and three goaltenders.
The Blackhawks continue the 2011 preseason on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. when they welcome the Detroit Red Wings to the United Center. The game will be broadcast locally on CSN, nationally on VERSUS and can be heard on WGNRadio.com.