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Rockford Report: Del Mastro Shining as IceHogs AHL All-Star

Ethan Del Mastro’s All-Star appearance softens blow of six-game skid

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Todd Reicher/Rockford IceHogs

Not only did Ethan Del Mastro represent the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL All-Star game, he showcased some of those offensive instincts he’s honed over the past few seasons in the skills competition.

The one time stay-at-home defenseman has risen through the Blackhawks prospects ranks and continues to turn heads as he represented the Hogs in the AHL All-Star game as a rookie. Del Mastro was CHN’s eighth best prospect in the preseason rankings, but he’s rocketed up much as his career trajectory has.

Yesterday’s article sees him as a sure bet to be in Chicago full time next season. While the logjam of defensemen will only get more clogged, Del Mastro could solidify a top four crew that would see three of the four 23 and younger: Del Mastro, Alex Vlasic, and Kevin Korchinski. This doesn’t factor in the likes of other prospects Taige Harding, Nolan Allan, Connor Kelley, or Sam Rinzel.

It’s definitely a good problem to have, and should Del Mastro’s season finish out as strong as it’s been for the first four months, like Korchinski last summer, you can likely pencil him into the Blackhawks lineup next October. The AHL All-Star game is tonight.

Some Needed Rest for the Rockford IceHogs

The IceHogs 3-2 overtime loss to Manitoba on Saturday extended the misery to a sixth consecutive game without a win. Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Grand Rapids was another close but no cigar moment for the Hogs. This all coming after a 4-1 stretch where that last victory came against Iowa on January 20th.

The six-game skid had some slippage in the standings, too. The Pacific Division is an all out dogfight but in the Central, Rockford sits fourth, chasing third place Texas by seven points.

The Hogs are back at it on Friday against Texas and then again Saturday against the Chicago Wolves.

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