The Chicago Blackhawks’ 2022-23 season is unlikely going to be one where the team is focused intensely on winning games, but instead one where player development is the main goal. To that end, the lack of established talent on the Blackhawks’ roster means that younger players might have more of an opportunity to see NHL time in Chicago than they would have on other teams. One of the players who might benefit from that opportunity is Isaak Phillips, a 2020 fifth-round pick who was just called up by Chicago for their final preseason game.
The Blackhawks’ new coach Luke Richardson said, as relayed by The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus, that he thinks that Phillips will ultimately begin the season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs and play as a top-pairing shutdown defenseman there. The 21-year-old Phillips played in four NHL games last season and this call-up suggests Phillips could be near the front of the line for a regular-season recall should the Blackhawks end up needing another defenseman on their roster.
Now, for some other notes from across the NHL:
- The Colorado Avalanche drafted Swedish forward Nils Aman in the sixth round of the 2020 draft, but didn’t sign him to an entry-level deal, letting his rights expire. The Vancouver Canucks scooped him up in June on an entry-level deal, and now it’s beginning to look like that was a savvy move on the part of GM Patrik Allvin and his front office. Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal of The Athletic report (subscription link) that there is “increasing industry buzz” that Aman has done enough to cement himself as the Canucks’ opening-night fourth-line center. If that ends up being the route the team chooses to go, it will be a major step forward for the 22-year-old, as he has no experience in North American pro hockey. Aman spent the last two seasons as a full-time player for Leksands in the SHL, scoring 14 points in a limited role.
- Veteran forward Mattias Janmark was waived by the Edmonton Oilers today, and while he’s just one of the several notable NHLers to hit waivers today, he may be one of the few who actually get claimed by another team. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe speculates that the Winnipeg Jets could be a team that possibly files a claim for Janmark. Wiebe notes that Jets are currently trying to figure out who will play in their bottom six, and since Janmark has a connection with new coach Rick Bowness, (Janmark played for Bowness as a member of the Dallas Stars) it’s possible that the Jets attempt to add him to their roster. Janmark signed a one-year, $1.25MM deal with the Oilers this summer and had 25 points in 67 games last season.