The Rockford IceHogs have signed former Blackhawks defenseman Cody Franson to a one-year AHL contract for the 2020-21 season, the team announced Wednesday.
Franson, 33, spent the last two seasons with Omsk Avangard of the KHL, where he compiled 43 points (eight goals, 35 assists) in 98 regular-season games and 24 points (five goals, 18 assists) in 25 postseason contests. He also served as an alternate captain this past season.
Franson was an instrumental part of the IceHogs' success in 2017-18 when the team, led by current Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton, reached the Western Conference Final of the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time in team history. He ranked second among team defensemen with 28 points — 15 of which came on the power play — and also averaged a point-per-game in the postseason with 13 tallies (six goals, seven assists) in 13 contests.
The right-handed shot Franson gives the IceHogs a veteran presence on the back end as the Blackhawks look to promote more of their blue line prospects to larger roles at the NHL level next season.
“Cody is going to be a great addition to our squad and it will be like adding an extra coach for us,” IceHogs head coach Derek King said in a statement. “He may not have known it, but I kept an eye on him during his first time with us and he’s been coaching the younger players ever since. He’s a tremendous addition to our defensive core, the team overall, and willing to take younger players under his wing to show them how to be a good professional.”