Before their first home practice during the regular season on Tuesday morning, the Blackhawks made a roster announcement.
Defenseman Alex Vlasic is headed to Rockford. This will be his first time in Rock-Vegas; he jumped straight to the NHL level last season after signing with the Blackhawks to end his college career at Boston University. He appeared in 15 games with the Blackhawks last season.
Vlasic, 21, spent most of his preseason skating with Seth Jones and appeared to be a likely candidate to make the NHL roster out of camp. When a couple guys got banged up and Riley Stillman got traded, that opportunity appeared to be greater.
But Vlasic wasn’t a lock to get the roster spot. And there were other young guys — including Alec Regula, Filip Roos and Isaak Phillips — who wanted that ice time as well. So when Vlasic got banged up blocking a shot before the season opener in Denver, that opened the opportunity for Regula and Roos to get on the ice.
Throw into the mix the waiver addition of Jarred Tinordi and Roos looking very comfortable at the NHL level thus far and the Blackhawks can now do what they’ve said they will do with their prospects: let them mature in Rockford. Lukas Reichel is down there, too.
This isn’t a knock on Vlasic’s game in any way. He’s just going to go down to the IceHogs and get big minutes in every situation.