After posting three goals and five points in two games last week, Rockford’s Kyle Beach has been named the American Hockey League’s player of the week.
It’s a positive step forward for Beach, who hasn’t had many during his professional career.
At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, he was a highly-touted power forward heading into the 2008 NHL Entry Draft — projected by some to be a top-five pick — but concerns about on-ice discipline (and off-ice reputation) saw him fall to 11th overall, where he was snapped up by the ‘Hawks.
After spending time WHL Spokane and Rockford, Beach appeared to have a solid chance of making the bigs in each of the last two seasons, especially given the mass exodus of Blackhawks forwards.
Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg, Ben Eager, Adam Burish, Tomas Kopecky, Troy Brouwer, Colin Fraser and John Madden have all left Chicago since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010.
Despite this, the 22-year-old Beach has yet to play in a single NHL contest.
Injuries have played a role — a shoulder ailment limited him to just 19 games last year — but now he appears on track to vie for a roster spot with the ‘Hawks, whenever the season gets underway.