Blackhawks lose defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to Jets on waivers
The Hawks had hoped to assign Dahlstrom to Rockford of the AHL after he lost his battle against Slater Koekkoek for an NHL roster spot.
PRAGUE — Defenseman Carl Dahlstrom said at the Blackhawks Convention in July that he was especially looking forward to the 2019-20 season in Chicago.
Alas, he won’t be in Chicago after all.
Dahlstrom, 24, was claimed off waivers Tuesday by the Jets, one day after the Hawks had listed him in hopes of sending him to Rockford of the American Hockey League.
It’s a small blow to the Hawks’ defensive depth and competitiveness, which the front office sought to build during the summer. Coach Jeremy Colliton said during training camp that he expected even those who lost roster battles to make an impact at the NHL level this season.
‘‘We [will] have guys, whether they’re a healthy scratch to begin or they’re in Rockford, who can come in and play minutes as the season goes on when there are injuries or there’s a dip in performance,’’ Colliton said.
Losing someone on waivers was always a known risk, considering the Hawks entered camp with eight defensemen on one-way contracts. And as far as losses go, Dahlstrom isn’t a major one.
Not only did Slater Koekkoek beat him out in camp for the seventh defenseman spot, but highly touted prospects Dennis Gilbert — who also was sent down Monday after a surprisingly long NHL stay — and Adam Boqvist likely would have passed him on the depth chart soon.
Still, one has to feel for Dahlstrom, who was the Hawks’ second-round pick in 2013 and had developed a strong player-coach rapport with Colliton dating to their season together at Rockford in 2017-18.
In each of his previous career stops — Linkopings of the Swedish league and Rockford — Dahlstrom said he felt more comfortable in his second season and took a big step forward. After an inconsistent 38-game showing as an NHL rookie last season, he expected better things from himself this autumn.
‘‘Throughout my career, my first year has always been a transition year,’’ he said at the convention. ‘‘There’s new ways of playing at every team, everywhere you go. My second year, I was a lot better. . . . I’m hoping to do the same thing here, continue on the same path.’’
The Jets desperately needed more back-end depth after three of their top six defensemen (Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot) departed this summer and a fourth (former Hawks Stanley Cup winner Dustin Byfuglien) holds out while contemplating retirement.
Dahlstrom immediately should step into an NHL role with the Jets and could play against the Hawks as many as five times this year.
The Hawks play an extra game against the Jets and Stars this season.