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VERSTEEG AND HJALMARSSON HEAD TO CHICAGO, KOCI REASSIGNED TO NORFOLK

Rockford defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson became the 16th IceHogs skater to get recalled to Chicago this season. (Photo by Jim Orlando)

Hjalmarsson becomes 16th IceHogs skater to get recalled

Rockford, Ill.- Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced on Thursday that the National Hockey League club has recalled winger Kris Versteeg and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.  Tallon also announced that winger David Koci was reassigned from Chicago to the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) and that the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) has reassigned defenseman Justin Fletcher to the IceHogs.

Hjalmarsson is the 16th different IceHogs player to get recalled by the parent club this season.  In his first season playing professionally in North America, the Eskjo, Sweden native has appeared in 38 games with the IceHogs and has accumulated three goals and four assists.  

The rookie d-man was selected by the Blackhawks in the fourth round (#108 overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

V
ersteeg earns his third NHL recall of the season.  The winger ranks fourth on the IceHogs in scoring, compiling 12 goals and 23 assists.  The Lethbridge, Alberta native skated in 11 games during his first two stints with the Blackhawks chipping in two goals and two assists.

After being selected by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round (#134 overall) in the 2004 NHL Draft, Versteeg was acquired by Chicago from the Bruins last February.  This season is Versteeg’s second overall in the pro ranks.

Fletcher comes to Rockford after playing in 39 games with Norfolk this season.  The Maryville, Ill. native has a goal and four assists on the season.  Fletcher is playing in his first full season in the pro ranks.  Last season, Fletcher completed his collegiate career at St. Cloud State (NCAA) and played 10 games with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.  

In other IceHogs news, Rockford General Manager of Hockey Operations Al MacIsaac announced that the AHL club has recalled winger Adam Berti and defenseman J.C. Sawyer from loan from Rockford’s ECHL affiliate Pensacola Ice Pilots.

Berti was loaned to Pensacola on Feb. 15 and has played in four games with the Ice Pilots.  The Oshawa, Ontario native racked up two goals and four assists in his first career stint in the ECHL.  With Rockford this season, Berti has two goals and five assists in 39 contests.

Sawyer will make his second go-round with Rockford.  The 6-3 defenseman played in three games with Rockford in November.  In his first season at the professional level, Sawyer has skated in 50 games with Pensacola and leads all Ice Pilots defenseman in scoring with four goals and 20 assists.

Next Home Game:  Friday, Feb. 29 vs. Lake Erie Monsters. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. It’s Leap Day hockey for the IceHogs when the Monsters invade the big orange box.  The game is the fourth and final on the 2007-08 slate between the Hogs and Monsters.  The first 1,000 fans to the game will pick up an IceHogs cowbell courtesy of Members Alliance Credit Union.