Blackhawks sign Hillman, re-assign Highmore, waive Berube

There is a flurry of activity today with the Chicago Blackhawks, fresh from signing two prospects over the weekend and Monday and debuting another last night.

Highmore to Rockford

They began the day by re-assigning forward Matthew Highmore back to the Rockford Ice Hogs. Highmore was recalled on February 26 and made his NHL debut three days later in San Jose, in a 7-2 shellacking of the Blackhawks by the Sharks.

Highmore scored two goals while he was up in the majors, and averaged 12:04 minutes of ice time in 13 games with Chicago.

Highmore scored 35 points (21 goals, 14 assists) in 56 games with Rockford before his call up. He actually owns the Ice Hogs record for goals by a forward in his rookie season. No doubt Rockford will use that scoring prowess as they try and solidify a playoff berth in the AHL.

Hillman signed

The Blackhawks followed the Highmore reassignment by officially signing former University of Denver defenseman Blake Hillman to a two year entry-level contract. Hillman will forego his senior season with Denver and report immediately to Chicago.

By playing in the last handful of games of the season, Hillman will essentially burn the first year of his deal. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 201-2019 season. No doubt this is what enticed Hillman into signing with the Blackhawks, who drafted him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.

Hillman, who is more touted for his defensive skills rather than his offensive prowess, has 31 points (7 goals, 24 assists) in three years and 123 games with Denver, was part of the team that won the Frozen Four last year. Hillman will wear #55 in his Blackhawks debut on Thursday versus the Winnipeg Jets.

Berube on waivers

The Blackhawks followed the Hillman signing by waiving goalie Jean Francois Berube. Berube, who was called up in December after he recovered from an injury that sidelined him in the AHL, has an .891 save percentage in 11 games with Chicago, being pulled twice in that span of games. If he clears waivers, he will report to Rockford.

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