It was announced on New Year’s Eve that the Blackhawks had agreed to terms with defenseman Dylan Olsen on a three-year, entry-level contract.
Olsen, who will turn 20 on Jan. 3, is listed at 6’3 and 220 pounds. He is currently skating with Canada’s team at the World Junior Championships, where he has one assist and is plus-one through three games. He had been playing with the University of Minnesota-Duluth as a sophomore, where he had 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) and eight penalty minutes in 17 games.
When the WJC tournament concludes, Olsen will report to Rockford of the AHL.
The signing of Olsen means a couple of options have to be explored by the Blackhawks organization. The blue line is crowded in Rockford, and the situation isn’t better in Chicago.
One option is for Ryan Stanton, Shawn Lalonde or Simon Danis-Pepin to be sent to the ECHL.
Another option is for someone to be promoted. But for that to happen, at least one player on the NHL roster would have to leave the organization completely; Jassen Cullimore has cleared waivers, but he can only be sent to Rockford or free agency. The most likely defenseman to be called up from the group of youngsters would be Nick Leddy, who started the year in Chicago and was effective.
The next few days could be interesting for the Blackhawks, especially in light of Jack Skille being a healthy scratch for the loss on Dec. 30 to San Jose.