On Friday night, prospect Kyle Beach suffered an injury that could jeopardize his future with the Chicago Blackhawks organization.
Beach, the 11th overall selection in the 2008 Draft by Chicago, had just started his second professional season in Rockford. In his final season in juniors, Beach put up numbers that gave many fans hope for his future in Chicago. He posted 52 goals and added 34 assists in only 68 games, while racking up 168 penalty minutes with Spokane of the WHL.
He struggled beginning the 2010-11 season in Rockford, but came on strong at the end to finish with 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) in 71 games last year. He had the worst plus-minus rating on the IceHogs, minus-24, and piled up 163 penalty minutes.
Starting this season, Beach was playing a much more balanced game. He had already scored three goals and added three assists in the first eight games of the season, and had already accumulated 18 penalty minutes. He wasn’t as recklessly physical as he was at the beginning of last year, though, and was playing a much more effective offensive game for the IceHogs.
Unfortunately, his season may now be over just as it was beginning.
According to the Peoria Journal Star:
“Rivermen winger Stefan Della Rovere hammered Kyle Beach in a third-period fight that left the Rockford opponent bloodied and with a dislocated right shoulder. Beach was wheeled down the hallway on a stretcher by EMTs and taken to a hospital after the game.”
Sources close to the situation have indicated that Beach’s shoulder injury is serious, and a timetable of between four and six months has been indicated as likely for his recovery.
Looking around the Blackhawks organization, Beach’s status at the top of the list was forfeited to Jeremy Morin and Nick Leddy last year, and his slide down the rankings has continued as a series of shrewd trades and two good draft classes have brought more talent into the system.
If Beach misses the rest of this season, he could struggle to be in the picture in Chicago. Prospects like Brandon Saad, Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault are maturing in their final seasons in juniors. There are also other physical players, like Andrew Shaw and Rob Flick, working their way up through the system. And Brandon Pirri, Ben Smith, Jimmy Hayes and Morin are also playing well up front in Rockford.
There has been no confirmation regarding the severity of Beach’s injury from Chicago or Rockford.