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3 Stars of the Week: Pair of rookies shine for Rockford

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

On Mondays, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Tanner Kero, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 4G, 3A

Kero collected points in all three of Rockford’s contests last week. On Wednesday, the 23-year-old matched a season high with three points—a goal and two helpers—to help the IceHogs post a 6-4 win in Milwaukee. Kero then tallied twice in a 5-4 loss to Lake Erie on Friday before adding a helper the next night in a 3-2 overtime loss. The Michigan native now has a four-game point streak going and paces Rockford with 16 goals this season; he ranks sixth with 26 points in 38 games.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

2nd Star: RW Vincent Hinostroza, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 2A

Hinostroza enjoyed a big week after being reassigned from Chicago, combining well with Kero and Bryan Bickell on the IceHogs’ top line. The 2012 sixth-round pick also tied a season high with two goals and an assist in Milwaukee, including the game-winner; he added a goal and assist in two weekend games against Lake Erie. Hinostroza’s five-point week propelled him to the top of Rockford’s leaderboard, with 32 points (13G, 19A) in 44 games this season.

(Getty Images)

3rd Star: RW Radovan Bondra, Vancouver Giants (WHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 2A

Bondra’s production has picked up in the latter half of February, and the Giants rookie had three goals and two helpers in three games last week. That included a pair of tallies on Friday in a 4-3 loss to Kelowna, followed by another multi-point outing the next night in a 4-2 loss to Kamloops. In his first North American season, the 2015 fifth-round pick 25 points in 50 regular-season games.

Honorable mentions: RW Ryan Hartman, Rockford (AHL); RW Tyler Motte, University of Michigan (BIG10)

Hartman picked up a point in all three outings for the IceHogs last week, including goals in two straight over the weekend set in Lake Erie to set a career high in goals (14). Hartman shares second on the team with 31 points in 49 games this season and ranks second with 101 penalty minutes.

Motte extended his point streak to 14 games with a goal and an assist in two games against Minnesota last weekend. The Michigan junior saw his record goal streak snapped at 12 games on Friday, but found the back of the net for his NCAA-leading 29th tally of the season the next night. The 2013 fourth-round pick ranks third on the team with 46 points in 30 games.

Around the system:

  • Forward John Dahlstrom netted his 21st goal of the season in Frolunda J20’s 11-3 loss to Skelleftea J20 on Saturday, then picked up an assist on the game-winner the next night in a 6-1 win over MODO. The 2015 seventh-round pick has 34 points in 37 games this season... Defenseman David Rundblad posted four assists in three games for the Zurich Lions last week and now has 15 points (2G, 13A) in 11 games in the Swiss League.

  • Sophomore forward Dylan Sikura notched an assist in both games last weekend to help Northeastern complete a sweep over Maine. The 2014 sixth-round pick ranks sixth on the team with 23 points (9G, 14A) in 32 games this season... In NCHC action, Anthony Louis contributed a goal and an assist toward Miami’s sweep over Colorado College last weekend, scoring his 10th of the season in Saturday’s 4-0 win and adding a team-high nine shots on goal. The 2013 sixth-round pick ranks third on the team with 23 points in 32 games this season... Nebraska–Omaha winger Fredrik Olofsson tallied a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss to North Dakota on Friday and now has 16 points (7G, 9A) in 30 games during his freshman campaign.

  • Mark McNeill picked up a goal and an assist in Rockford’s win over Milwaukee, then added his 15th goal of the season on Saturday in Lake Erie... Bryan Bickell collected a goal and an assist in Milwaukee and now has 25 points in 28 AHL contests this season... Ryan Haggerty notched a goal and a helper in three outings with the IceHogs last week... Defensemen Ville Pokka and Cameron Schilling each collected a pair of assists last week.
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