The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled forwards Bryan Bickell, Evan Brophey, Jake Dowell, Pascal Pelletier (pas-KAL PEHL-tyay) and Jack Skille (SKIH-lee), defenseman Jordan Hendry, and goaltenders Corey Crawford and Antti Niemi (AN-tee, nee-YEH-mee) from the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.
Pelletier, who was held off the scoresheet in seven games over three recalls with the Blackhawks this season, led Rockford with 29 goals and ranked second with 55 points in 71 regular-season games. The 25-year-old forward shared the team lead with eight power-play markers during the regular-season before potting one goal in four postseason tilts. A fifth-year pro, Pelletier has racked up 100 goals, 125 assists and 225 points in 277 career AHL regular-season matchups with the Providence Bruins (2005-08) and Rockford (2008-09).
Crawford paced Rockford with 22 wins (22-20-3) and a .917 save percentage while notching a 2.59 goals-against average in 47 appearances this season. The 24-year-old netminder tied for the IceHogs lead with two shutouts and held opponents to two or fewer goals in 24 of his 47 outings this season. The Montreal, Quebec, native was also on the Blackhawks’ active roster from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8, but did not appear in any games. He appeared in a National Hockey League career-high five games with the Blackhawks last season, registering a 1-2 record with a 2.14 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
Niemi made his National Hockey League debut in three appearances with the Blackhawks this season, posting a 1-1-1 mark with a 3.40 goals-against average and a .846 save percentage. The 25-year-old netminder recorded his first NHL win in his first NHL start on March 1, accruing 22 saves on 24 shots in Chicago’s 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Vantaa, Finland, native paced Rockford with a 2.43 goals-against average and shared the team lead with two shutouts, while notching a 18-14-3 record with a .913 save percentage in 38 AHL games during his North American professional debut.
Hendry recorded four penalty minutes in nine games over two stints with the Blackhawks this season, which includes appearing in each of the club’s first eight contests from Oct. 10 to 25. The 25-year-old defenseman recorded nine points (3G, 6A), 45 penalty minutes and a +4 plus/minus rating in 53 games with Rockford this season. Last season, the Nokomis, Saskatchewan, native made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks, posting four points (G, 3A) and 22 penalty minutes in 40 contests.
Skille registered one goal and five penalty minutes in eight games over two stints with the Blackhawks this season, which includes appearing in the squad’s first six regular-season matchups from Oct. 10 to 19. Chicago’s first choice, seventh overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Skille tied for second on Rockford with 20 goals and finished fourth with 45 points, both career highs, despite appearing in just 58 of the club’s 80 regular-season games. Last season, the Madison, Wisconsin, native made his National Hockey League debut in 16 games with the Blackhawks, notching three goals and two assists.
Dowell appeared in one game with the Blackhawks this season, posting a +1 plus/minus rating and two penalty minutes in 13:37 of action in the team’s 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on April 11. The 24-year-old forward ranked second on Rockford with 128 penalty minutes and recorded 14 assists and 20 points in 75 regular-season contests this season. The Eau Claire, Wisconsin, native made his National Hockey League debut in 19 games with the Blackhawks last season, collecting two goals, three points and 10 penalty minutes.
Brophey, 22, tallied professional career highs with 16 goals, 23 assists, 39 points and 65 penalty minutes while appearing in 79 of Rockford’s 80 regular-season matchups. The second-year pro, who potted one goal in four postseason tilts, finshed tied for third on the club with a +14 plus/minus rating, while his 39 points held sixth.
Bickell collected 14 points (6G, 8A) and 60 penalty minutes in 42 regular-season contests with the IceHogs during the regular season before tying for the team lead with two assists in four postseason tilts. The 23-year-old forward has notched two goals in seven career games with the Blackhawks in parts of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, which includes being held scoreless in four outings last season.
Rockford finished as the fourth seed in the AHL’s West Division, reaching the Calder Cup Playoffs for the second time in as many seasons as the Blackhawks’ top affiliate. The IceHogs were defeated, 4-games-to-0 by the first-seeded Milwaukee Admirals in the West Division Semifinal.
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