When the Chicago Blackhawks opened their 2013-14 Stanley Cup championship defense, one of the more surprising additions to the roster was Swedish forward Joakim Nordstrom. The 22-year old forward picked up a goal and an assist in 10 games with the Blackhawks this season before he was sent down to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.
On Wednesday, it was announced that he would be making his way back to the team, as the Blackhawks recalled him from Rockford. While in the AHL this season, Nordstrom has racked up 17 goals and 16 assists with the IceHogs. He is second on the team in goals, and has four power play goals on the campaign.
The recall comes as the Blackhawks are facing one of their biggest challenges of the season in terms of their depleted forward depth. Patrick Kane is already on Long Term Injured Reserve after injuring his leg against the St. Louis Blues, and captain Jonathan Toews could miss some games after taking a big hit from Brooks Orpik in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Michal Handzus also could be on the shelf after he missed a big chunk of that contest, and Bryan Bickell still hasn’t returned from an upper body injury he sustained in March.
With all of those factors coming into play, adding Nordstrom to the roster is a smart move by the Blackhawks. The team can carry as many players as they want on the roster as they head into the final stretch run of the season, and having a forward who can play wing or center is critical as they try to shuffle around their lineup to compensate for injuries.