BLACKHAWKS SEND FIVE PLAYERS TO ROCKFORD

By: Amy Spivey
Roster now stands at 24 players

Rockford, Ill.- The Chicago Blackhawks have assigned five players to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. The players include forwards Jimmy Hayes, Marcus Kruger, Peter LeBlanc and Brandon Pirri, along with defenseman Dylan Olsen.

Rockford’s training camp roster now stands at 24 players, including 15 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies.

Hayes, 21, is entering his first full professional campaign. The Dorchester, Mass. native spent three seasons at Boston College, registering 81 points (42g-39a) in 117 total collegiate games. After finishing off his 2010-11 season with the Eagles, Hayes finished the season in Rockford, skating in seven games.

Kruger will skate in his first full season in North America. The past three seasons, Kruger skated for Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Elite League. In 2010-11, Kruger paced Djurgardens IF with 35 points (6g-29a) in 50 regular-season contests and shared the club lead with a +12 plus/minus rating. Following his season with Djurgardens, he joined the Blackhawks for seven regular-season tilts and five postseason contests.

LeBlanc spent most of the 2010-11 campaign in Rockford, compiling 30 points (12g-18a) in 57 contests. The Hamilton, Ontario native also skated in 22 games with the Toledo Walleye, notching eight goals and 14 assists. 

Pirri, 20, is entering his second season with the IceHogs. Last season, he led all IceHogs rookies and set an AHL IceHogs single-season rookie record with 43 points. He also tied a rookie mark with 31 assists. Pirri made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks last season, playing on Oct. 9 against the Detroit Red Wings.

Olsen, 20, is also entering is second season with the IceHogs. He made his professional hockey debut last season with Rockford on Jan. 14 against Texas after starting the season at the University of Minnesota-Deluth. The blue liner dished out four assists in 42 games for the IceHogs.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 8 vs. Grand Rapids. The IceHogs open the 2011-12 season against the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:05 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Every fan in attendance will get an IceHogs 2011-12 magnet schedule. For tickets call (815) 968-5222 or visit icehogs.com.





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