One of the Blackhawks’ best young blueline prospects won’t be joining the club for a potential Stanley Cup run.
Stephen Johns, taken 60th overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, reportedly suffered a broken forearm in AHL Rockford’s season-ending playoff loss to Grand Rapids, per CBS Chicago. Johns later took to Twitter to (essentially) confirm the news:
— Stephen Johns (@stjohns28) May 18, 2015
Johns, 23, is held in high regard by the organization. He’s big (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), showed good offensive upside in Rockford this year — 21 points in 51 games, missing time to a knee injury — and though he’s yet to make his NHL debut, Johns was viewed as a darkhorse candidate to step in following Michal Rozsival’s season-ending ankle fracture in Round 2.
(Game 1 of the Western Conference Final didn’t ease concerns about Chicago’s lack of d-man depth, as David Rundblad and Kimmo Timonen barely played against Anaheim.)
At the very least, Johns would’ve been in line to serve as a Black Ace for Chicago with Rockford’s season done. But the broken forearm will reportedly keep him sidelined for 4-6 weeks, which wipes out any chance of him traveling with the ‘Hawks.