The following is a Dylan Olsen feature as it appeared in the December 28th edition of The Committed Indian.
By Chris Block
Nick Leddy’s acceleration into the top-4 has calmed nearly all fear Brian Campbell’s exit would cripple the Hawks’ depth. With young prospects like Dylan Olsen (2009, 1st rd #28), Shawn Lalonde (2008, 3rd rd #68), Joe Lavin (2008, 5th rd #126) and non-drafted signings Brian Connelly and Ryan Stanton patrolling the point in Rockford, Stan Bowman probably rest assured he had plenty of talent in the pipeline if Leddy stumbled.
To this point, however, Rockford allows the most goals against in the AHL. It’s true though, too much blame has been placed on the IceHogs blue line for the team’s defensive woes. The goaltending has ranged from average to turn your head away bad. Many times, the IceHogs are their own worst enemy. Trouble usually begins with the zone-exit pass and taking chances instead of just playing it safe and getting the puck deep, leading to turnovers. From there, the defense is in a scramble and the forwards don’t provide much help at times. The defense isn’t as bad as it looks on paper, but it’s not like it’ll produce three or more full-time NHLers either.
However, there is one cant-miss on the IceHogs blue line. He’s still a half season away, but Dylan Olsen is looking like that guy.
Blackhawks fans have longed for a big, mean, shut-down defenseman to eat minutes, kill penalties and take some of the burden off stalwarts Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith.