Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Our Town Or Team
Buy Tickets



By: Nate Haeni
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
06/04/2014 9:48 AM -

A rookie season in the American Hockey League can have many different ups and downs for a player as they get acclimated to a new league, new systems, more games, among many other changes. For most, it’s about developing and building on skills to ultimately make it to the next level.

Forward Joakim Nordstrom’s 2013-14 season may have been just like many other rookies before him, but he got a taste of something that most don’t – playing in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nordstrom was a little different than most first-year AHL players as he came with experience across three different levels with AIK of the Swedish Hockey League going into the 2013-14 season. Regardless, the Chicago Blackhawks third round pick (#90 overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft began the season on a high note as he made the Blackhawks squad coming out of training camp. Unwavered by getting sent down to Rockford in late October, the 22-year-old used his rookie campaign exactly how most do, adjusting and enduring the grind of the season.

The Tyreso, Sweden native was Rockford’s third best goal scorer during the season with 17 tallies to go along with 16 assists in 58 contests. Mix in two recalls to Chicago where he added three points (1g-2a) in 16 games, including six games down the stretch at the end of the regular season, and the center was ready for postseason hockey.

“Coming up [to Chicago] late in the season and getting in a few games to help me out to be ready and get used to the system here was good,” said Nordstrom. “It’s a little bit different here than in Rockford.”

Getting those games late in the regular season ensured that the young centerman was ready to go when he got the call on May 27 in a critical Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against St. Louis.

The learning experience continued in the next round against the Minnesota Wild as he appeared in all six contests for the Blackhawks. With the nerves out of the way, Nordstrom was quick to pick up one of the differences between the regular season and postseason.

“There are little mistakes and it’s desperation,” commented Nordstrom. “Every single play you make can be crucial and might decide the whole series. Getting the games earlier [in the regular season], it was easy to come in and fit in.”

It didn’t matter which locker room he was in, Rockford or Chicago, Nordstrom was able to adapt and fit in, just as any rookie has to do.

“The whole team is such a great group of guys and ever since I got called up again everyone has been supportive and helped me out,” Nordstrom said. “If I had any questions about the systems or just anything on a regular basis I could ask anyone.”

Despite seeing the Blackhawks playoff run fall short of a second straight Stanley Cup Finals appearance, Nordstrom was able to take in the whole experience, even noting the atmosphere of playoff hockey at buildings like the Xcel Energy Center, Staples Center, and United Center.

“First of all, in Rockford we have had a great crowd the whole year so it’s been really fun to play there,” said Nordstrom. “And then same here, it’s sold out every game, it’s very loud and great fans that are cheering the whole game, so it’s a lot of fun.”

For Nordstrom, getting a few games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs under his belt was just another step in the right direction.

“It’s definitely different to play in the playoffs than in the regular season,” said Nordstrom. “So obviously I’m one experience richer. The whole experience of playing NHL playoff hockey has been great.”

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200