Blackhawks Add Forward Ryan Gagnier to Prospect Pool
With the offseason in full bloom, the Rockford Icehogs signed forward Ryan Gagnier to a one-year deal Monday afternoon. The 20-year-old recently finished up his fourth year with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.
NEWS: IceHogs Sign Ryan Gagnier, One of OHL's Top Defensive Forwards, for 2023-24https://t.co/6kn1atupvm
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) May 15, 2023
Blackhawks Filling Forward Depth in Rockford
Gagnier was a member of the 2020 NHL Draft class which was a one of the most difficult to project due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The draft was pushed to October 2020 and was completely virtual. Beyond that, scouts and general managers had a tougher read on players since games truly hadn’t been played since March 2020. Gagnier went undrafted.
Gagnier was taken in the third round of OHL Draft back in 2018. He came into his own last season with 17 goals and 36 points but it was this past season where he had 69 points (31 goals) in 66 games and buried a game-winning goal in Oshawa’s only 2023 playoff win.
With Lukas Reichel likely being a full-time member of the Blackhawks next season, Gagnier’s scoring touch will be a welcomed addition.
The IceHogs Snag a Strong Two-Way Forward
Gagnier is known more for play off the puck. He was voted the hardest worker in the Eastern Conference in the 2023 Coach’s Poll while also earning runner-up nods for best defensive forward and best penalty killer. Those acknowledgements, along with his scoring prowess certainly making Gagnier an intriguing prospect to add into the prospect pool.
This continues the vision for a Blackhawks team stockpiling young talent while getting the chance to take Connor Bedard with the top pick in the 2023 Draft. His two-way prowess as well as raking in a number of team awards reveals a high-character player among his peers and coaches.