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Dahlstrom, Norell gaining confidence after first year in North America

by Emerald Gao / Digital Content Coordinator

Traverse City, Mich. -- The path to the NHL doesn't have to be a lonely one. It hasn't been for Swedish defensemen Carl Dahlstrom and Robin Norell, who are gearing up for their second professional season after four years entrenched in the Blackhawks system, developing side by side after being drafted by the Blackhawks in 2013 -- Dahlstrom in the second round, Norell in the fourth.

They've attended the same camps and tournaments, received valuable feedback from the organization and then gone home to put in the hard work.

In 2016, they also took a big step in their careers together, signing their entry-level contracts two weeks apart and arriving in Rockford in the fall. They'd both dipped their toes in for brief spells in each of the previous springs, but last season was the real deal.

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Snuggerud's five-point night sends Blackhawks to championship game

by Emerald Gao / Digital Content Coordinator

Traverse City, Mich. -- The Blackhawks started the scoring on the first shift of the game, and then they seemingly couldn't stop, finding twine even on the very last shift of the game.

The two tallies bookended a 9-2 demolition of Carolina on Monday night, which also included two power-play goals and two shorthanded goals, some heroic penalty killing and an overall team performance the Blackhawks could be proud of. Eleven players found the scoresheet, and five enjoyed multi-point nights, chief among them defenseman Luc Snuggerud, who strung together an even-strength goal, a power-play goal and three assists; he's now one of four players with six points in the tournament.

"Things were just kind of going in the net for me, so it's just one of those days where the whole team's playing well and I'm just a product of that success," Snuggerud said after the game. "Can't give enough credit to the guys in the locker room. Everyone was clicking and on the same page."

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Q and A: Bernard on new Rockford coaches, incoming rookie class and more

by Emerald Gao / Digital Content Coordinator

The annual NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., is around the corner, with the Blackhawks slated to compete in the eight-team tournament from Sept. 8-12. It's the first competitive hockey of the season, an early chance for organizations to see how their prospects stack up against other clubs around the league. For Chicago, this year's competition is not only an opportunity to evaluate players like Alex DeBrincat, David Kampf and Luc Snuggerud, it's also the first test for the Rockford IceHogs' new coaching group, which now includes Jeremy Colliton and Sheldon Brookbank.

"Probably 90 percent of the team we're bringing to Traverse City will be in Rockford this season," Senior Director of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard said, noting that the coaches will focus on assessing possible line combinations and defensive pairings over the course of the tournament. Before the team hit the road, chicagoblackhawks.com spoke with Bernard for a conversation about Rockford's coaching changes as well as his expectations for the upcoming campaign.

Click here to view the Blackhawks' roster, and click here for more information about the Prospect Tournament. All Blackhawks games will be streamed live on chicagoblackhawks.com.

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Blackhawks name Colliton head coach of AHL's Rockford IceHogs

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have hired Jeremy Colliton (KAWL-ih-tuhn) to serve as head coach of the organization's top minor league affiliate, the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs.

"Jeremy's experience as a player and a coach will allow him to be a great leader and mentor for our young prospects in Rockford," said Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. "He is coming off a great start to his coaching career with four successful seasons in Sweden and fits very well into our plan of continuing to develop our younger players."

Colliton spent the last four seasons as the head coach of Mora IK in Sweden (HockeyAllsvenskan). A native of Blackie, Alberta, Colliton guided his team to a league-best 35-4-13 record and 105 points during the 2016-17 season. Following the regular season, he led Mora IK to promotion to the Swedish Hockey League for the 2017-18 season after defeating Leksands IF in six games (4-2) of the best-of-seven series. Colliton joined the coaching ranks with Mora IK in an interim head coaching role during the 2013-14 season before taking over full-time the following season. In four seasons with Colliton behind the bench, Mora IK posted a 98-18-57 record.

"I'm honored to join the Blackhawks organization as they have a proven track record of winning that I'm excited to help continue," said Colliton. "In Rockford, we will do everything we can to help our young prospects develop into the best players and people they can be."

Prior to becoming a coach, Colliton had an eight-year professional career primarily in the National Hockey League and AHL. He appeared in 57 NHL games across five seasons (2005-09, 2010-11) with the New York Islanders, notching three goals and three assists. He was originally drafted by the Islanders in the second round (58th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

The 32-year-old also spent parts of six seasons (2005-09, 2010-12) in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, recording 203 points (77G, 126A) in 326 career games. Additionally, he had stints with Rogle Angelholm (2009-10) in the Swedish Elite League and Mora IK (2013-14). He also had experience on the international stage, earning gold and silver medals while representing Canada at the 2005 and 2004 IIHF World U20 Junior Championships, respectively.

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All-Star Game for Abbott in Allentown

by Eric Mueller / icehogs.com

Rockford, Ill. - The AHL announced today Spencer Abbott will represent the Rockford IceHogs at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross January 29-30 at the PPL Center, the home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, in Allentown, Pa.

Abbott will be making his first All-Star appearance, although he was added to the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic but did not play in the game. The native of Hamilton, Ontario, posted a team-high 21 points (8G, 13A) before he was recalled by the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 3. He has collected 42 points on 20G-22A in 49 games with Rockford between the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons. Abbott has posted 57G-112A-169pts in 217 career AHL games. The center has appeared in one NHL contest with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 5, 2013, and is scheduled to make his Blackhawks debut tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.

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AHL On the Beat: The Six Swedes

by Holly Sias / TheAHL.com

Imagine leaving the country where you grew up -- the place you built a life, an identity -- and flying thousands of miles to land in a city where you knew no one.

You barely speak the new language.

And now you are expected to adapt as a new citizen of that country, virtually on your own.

If the city you landed in is Rockford, Illinois, however, and your departing flight came from Sweden, you're in luck.

Arriving at your first practice and approaching your first step toward the unknown, you hear the faint sound of your native language. And just like that, you know you're home.

At least that's the case for the Swedes who landed a spot on Rockford's roster this season.

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IceHogs announce training camp schedule

by Eric Mueller / Rockford IceHogs

Chicago Blackhawks General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard announced today the 2016 training camp schedule and roster for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. The IceHogs start their 18th overall season of professional hockey in Rockford, and 10th in the AHL as the top affiliate of the Blackhawks, on Sunday, Oct. 2 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

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Bernard Q&A Part 2: Upcoming battles

Mark Bernard discusses newcomers who could make a splash this season

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

It's been a summer of change for the Blackhawks, with several forward spots opening up and a fierce battle for those jobs looming. While the majority of roster decisions will be made at training camp, which begins Sept. 23, this weekend's Rookie Tournament will offer hockey operations brass an opportunity to evaluate some of the team's emerging talent as they go up against other teams' prospects in Traverse City, Mich. In Part 2 of our Q&A, Director of Hockey Administration/GM of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard discusses some new names who could make a splash and the unique situation entering training camp.

"There's probably going to be two or three spots open in Chicago, with four or five players battling for those, so it's going to be an exciting training camp," Bernard predicted. "For these young players, they could go the rest of their careers and never have an opportunity present itself like this, where there are so many spots available on the big club. Those guys have to come into camp and really take advantage of it."

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Bernard Q&A Part 1: Recapping Rockford's standouts

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

It's been a summer of change for the Blackhawks, with several forward spots opening up and a fierce battle for those jobs looming. While the majority of roster decisions will be made at training camp, which begins Sept. 23, this weekend's Rookie Tournament will offer hockey operations brass an opportunity to evaluate some of the team's emerging talent as they go up against other teams' prospects in Traverse City, Mich. Director of Hockey Administration/GM of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard joined chicagoblackhawks.com for a lengthy chat, with Part 1 covering the prospects who stood out in Rockford last year.

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