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Wyatt Kaiser Showing More Confidence After a Rockford Reboot

Wyatt Kaiser spent 31 games in Rockford to reboot his game. It seems to have done the trick.

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The evolution of Wyatt Kaiser was on full display Saturday night. It just took a closer look to see how Kaiser’s reboot in Rockford led to the masterful play he made in the Blackhawks 5-1 win over Philadelphia Saturday night.

It was Kaiser who spearheaded the offensive rush that led to MacKenzie Entwistle’s goal. Not only did he draw two Flyers to him, but he was able to chip the puck ahead to Joey Anderson, who would then feed Entwistle for Chicago’s fifth goal of the night.

Kaiser was chased during the play and then had to think quickly at avoid a turnover deep in his zone. He fended off the first and didn’t cough up the puck on the other. Instead, it was a smart play that resulted in a goal.

The confidence to make that play was further evidence that the reboot indeed did its job.

Rockford Helped Rebuild Kaiser’s Confidence

Ask IceHogs defenseman Nolan Allan about his teammate for 31 games and what he brought to the team while rebooting with Rockford–it was just the little things here and there that helped.

“Whenever we get a guy with NHL experience down in the American League, you know it helps a ton,” Allan said. “Both in the room and on the ice. Just watching the kind of stuff he does–there’s a reason he’s in the NHL right now.”

Kaiser had 15 points in those 31 games, three of them being goals. But building that confidence back helps when someone has a much bigger role in the game.

“He played in all situations for us and kinda found his game to where saw it earlier in the year,” IceHogs head coach Anders Sorensen said. “He looks more comfortable on the ice, and in control.”

But where did Sorensen see the most growth after deploying the defenseman in all of those situations?

“He took some strides in his offensive game–his point play and blue line on the power play,” Sorensen said. “He had a little more deception. We found earlier when he just started with us that he was rushing plays, got shots blocked. But his game evolved in that area.”

Which takes us back to the beginning. On a play where he was chased into his own zone, Kaiser calmly skated ahead of Cam York who nipped at his skates as he trailed behind the Hawks net. Sean Couturier, whose errant pass was picked up by Kaiser to start the sequence, tried to close in and take the puck back. Instead, Kaiser calmly chipped it ahead to Anderson, who then flew down the ice, teeing Entwistle up for the goal.

Calm, confident, and controlled–just like Sorensen said.

Wyatt Kaiser certainly made the most of his return to Rockford and now it’s paying off in Chicago.

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