Nick Leddy’s exciting week continues with Blackhawks call-up

It’s been a busy, emotional week for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman/prospect Nick Leddy.

Things were pretty low on Monday when Leddy and the United States world junior team absolutely fell on their faces against Canada in the tournament’s semifinal 4-1 loss. His spirits certainly must have been improved on Wednesday, though, as the U.S. gutted out a spirited 4-2 win over Sweden to redeem themselves and grab the bronze medal.

A week that began low keeps climbing in quality for Leddy, as the Blackhawks decided to call him up to the big club instead of keeping him with Rockford in the American Hockey League. He is expected to play on Chicago’s third defensive pairing with Jordan Hendry, taking Jassen Cullimore’s typical spot on the Blackhawks blueline.

Leddy played in six NHL games already this season before being called back down to the minors. He told that gaining experience in such a wide variety of venues should help him have a more productive run at the sport’s highest level this time around.

“You gain more confidence as you play, but this is another step up in the NHL,” he said. “Every level you jump, there’s just going to be more skilled players and you’ve got to adjust to that league. I guess we’ll see what happens, but I’ll do my best.”

Leddy will likely be paired with Jordan Hendry as Chicago’s third defense tandem against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night at the United Center. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said it’s also possible that Leddy might get some time on the penalty kill unit, which is currently ranked 28th in the League (77.3 percent).

Quenneville likes what Leddy did in the minors and at the WJC and hopes that translates to the NHL.

“He’s progressed,” Quenneville said. “He looks bigger off the ice and on the ice. I think the World Juniors was good for him, as well. He gives us more puck possession, more presence offensively in that area. He played well when he was here earlier. I just think he added consistency as he worked his way down there.”

Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell set to return tonight

While the Chicago Blackhawks have had a good start to their season, they’re getting some good news tonight heading into their contest against the New York Rangers. Defenseman Brian Campbell, who sprained his knee during training camp, will make his first start of the season and as you might expect, he’s fired up about playing. Chris Kuc gets the quotes from Campbell via Chicago Breaking Sports.

“I’m excited,” Campbell said after the Hawks’ morning skate. “It’s been pretty boring the last month. I’m ready to go and try and help out and get the feel for it again.”

“(My knee) feels pretty good,” Campbell added. “You’re going to have pain for a little while longer. I was comfortable with it and I had a really good skate (Saturday) in Minnesota. After that I felt pretty good. I responded well and I was working hard to get back.”

Campbell gets right back into the swing of things with his defense partner from last season, Niklas Hjalmarsson. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith remain as the top pair, meanwhile Jassen Cullimore and Jordan Hendry will be the third pair. That leaves Nick Boynton out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.

Getting Campbell back gives Chicago an offensive threat on the blue line and someone to help their power play unit out as well. Expect the Blackhawks to ride that top four set of defensemen as long as they’re all healthy. They’re the absolute best that Chicago rolls out there and while the third pairing is good for getting a break on occasion, you can’t bank on them to do any real heavy lifting out there. For Chicago, they’ll be happy to do that.