INDIANAPOLIS – It’s nearing the end of June and in the hockey world, that means it’s officially time for free agency. ECHL and AHL teams are beginning to sign players for another run at their respective trophies.
The Chicago Blackhawks organization has begun to make moves in the offseason. With the NHL Draft over, the organization has to start making decisions on where players are going to be in 2017-18.
The Rockford IceHogs have begun their moves in the offseason, signing forward Tommy Olczyk, defenseman Darren Raddysh, and goaltender Matt Tomkins. All three players are good signings for the IceHogs, however, it is safe to assume that Olczyk and Tomkins spend the majority of their time in Indianapolis.
Originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh round (199th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Tomkins is coming off of a four-year career at Ohio State University. In final year with the Buckeyes, the 6-3 goaltender put up a 2.48 GAA and .909 save percentage in 22 games.
According to Hockey’s Future, “Tomkins is a sound positional goaltender who plays a heady game between the pipes. Consistency is sometimes an issue but he plays a more controlled game that relies more on solid instincts and athletic ability.”
Olczyk attended training camp with the IceHogs prior to the 2016-17 season. The son of former Chicago Blackhawks forward and current team broadcaster, Eddie Olczyk, played 44 games with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces last season tallying 13 points (6g, 7a). From watching Olczyk at Penn State, he is a determined and hard working player. He isn’t afraid to go to the corners and fight for pucks. He’ll be a good asset for the Indy Fuel this season.
Along with Rockford making moves, the Indy Fuel made their first move this offseason by re-signing defenseman Chris Williams. The 26-year-old led all team rookie defensemen with 11 points (4g, 7a) in 53 games. Williams also was not afraid to drop the gloves for his team, picking up 12 major penalties, ranking fourth among ECHL first-years.
The Fuel and the rest of the Blackhawks organization will continue to make moves throughout the offseason and The Sin Bin will have you covered for all roster moves and signings.