Phillip Danault has been waiting for his chance to crack the Blackhawks lineup for more than two years.
He’ll have to keep waiting.
Danault, one of the Hawks’ top center prospects and a first-round draft pick in 2011, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip on Monday morning. Team doctor Michael Terry said the 22-year-old will be out for approximately four months.
Danault made his NHL debut this past season, appearing in two games. He had a breakout season in Rockford of the American Hockey League, posting 13 goals and 25 assists in 70 games. The two-way standout in the Marcus Kruger mold earned positive reviews from Hawks coach Joel Quenneville during his brief stint.
“He brings energy, brings purpose to his game,” Quenneville said after Danault’s debut in Edmonton in November. “He really came on this year. I thought he had an excellent camp, had more pace to his game. I looked back when he first came to the organization, being a first-round pick, he really made an impression on us.”
Danault was expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp, though he faced an uphill climb. The Hawks have added several potential bottom-six forwards to the roster, including Viktor Tikhonov, Ryan Garbutt and Jeremy Morin. Fellow Rockford standouts Joakim Nordstrom, Mark McNeill and Ryan Hartman also will be in the mix, as will college signee Kyle Baun.