While the rest of the NHL has focused its attention on the looming expansion draft involving the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the Chicago Blackhawks inked a minor league deal with the OHL’s top defenseman last season.
The Rockford Ice Hogs announced Tuesday they had agreed to a one-year contract with Erie Otters defenseman Darren Raddysh. The 21-year-old defender is teammates with rising Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat. The two helped propel Erie to the OHL Championship last season.
Raddysh led all OHL defensemen with 81 points last season and was awarded the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the league’s most outstanding defenseman. He tallied 41 goals and 184 total points during his four-year OHL career.
The Blackhawks have been desperately trying to get younger on the blue line. Raddysh could serve as a useful puck-moving defenseman down the road. Chicago could use even more help on defense if Trevor van Riemsdyk winds up with the Golden Knights during the expansion draft process.
Chicago left van Riemsdyk exposed for selection and reports suggest he could be included in a potential package that would send Marcus Kruger and his $3.1 million salary to Vegas.