Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom are going to get another chance at the NHL.
The Chicago Blackhawks called up Morin and Nordstrom from the AHL‘s Rockford IceHogs to fill in for Michal Handzus and Andrew Shaw, as they are both out with injuries. The two will start for the Hawks against the Minnesota Wild.
The next question that will be asked is obvious: Are they up to the challenge?
Morin has been on the Blackhawks’ roster longer than Nordstrom has. He was last called up on No. 20, before being sent back down just a day after his best game of the season against the Edmonton Oilers. This will be his third stint with the big league club this season. He has a total of three assists in nine games with the Blackhawks.
As for Nordstrom, he was a surprising roster addition at the beginning of the season, but was sent back down to Rockford because of his inconsistent play; that was after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders. He has scored five goals in eight games for the IceHogs since then.
The question, of course, is what kind of contribution the two will have with the Blackhawks. Morin might not contribute much, considering he’s already had stints with the Hawks. As for Nordstrom, it seems as if the coaching staff under head coach Joel Quenneville see plenty of potential in him. It’s likely that he’ll play a defensive role and on the penalty kill. Since the Blackhawks have had trouble giving up goals, Nordstrom was called up to deal with it.
It’s likely that Nordstrom will make a bigger contribution, assuming he stays on the big team. Aside from his inconsistency, he’s already shown he has some talent. He’ll center the third line with Morin and Sheldon Brookbank. Having them play on the same line might be a good way for them to find ways to contribute and grow.
Nordstrom said that he’s learned quite a lot in Rockford, so there’s the growth factor with him. Expect him to try and show the growth he’s earned. He’ll likely be on the penalty kill, and he’ll use his speed and instincts to try and get to the net. Morin, on the other hand, will likely be a role player much like Ben Smith.
Nordstrom and Morin’s impacts are likely going to be minimal for the time being, but Nordstrom is likely to grow into the role. It’s not clear whether this is a temporary assignment for either player, but since Handzus and Shaw will be out for some time, they’ll both be on the roster for the time being. While their impact might not be clear in the short term, expect them to try and make the most of their time.