Defenseman Darren Raddysh has agreed to terms on a one year AHL contract with the Rockford IceHogs. Last season, he won the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman, as he lead the Erie Otters to the Ontario Hockey League championship.
The twenty-one year old spent the last five seasons with the Otters in the OHL. He set career-highs with 16 goals and 65 assists in 62 games, with 81 points last season. In the OHL playoffs, he had 22 points in 22 games, including 8 points in 5 games during the Memorial Cup.
Raddysh joined the Otters as a talented kid, but has grown into a true NHL prospect. In 2012, upon joining the Otters Raddysh was 5’11” and 165 pounds. He’s now 6’1″ and 200 pounds. He notched 13 points in his first season with the Otters. He followed that with 48 and 40 points in his next two. Last season, he had his breakout year and turned many heads.
Despite being courted by some NHL teams, Raddysh signed with the IceHogs. That, coupled with the upcoming Expansion Draft and the NHL Draft, makes this a very interesting move.
Is the contract with Rockford a procedural move to protect Raddysh? Will Raddysh play with the Chicago Blackhawks sooner rather than later? Some things will be clearer after the upcoming drafts, but either way, the signing of Raddysh is good for the Chicago organization.