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Blackhawks’ Nordstrom trying to prove he belongs

Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators

Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators

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Chicago Blackhawks rookie center Joakim Nordstrom is trying to prove he’s learned from his latest stint in the American Hockey League.

Nordstrom has appeared in five games with the NHL club since Nov. 16.

“It’s a good opportunity to show I want to be on this team and play in this league,” Nordstrom told “I try to be physical and bring energy.”

Prior to being recalled, Nordstrom had five goals and eight points in 14 games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

The brass in Rockford was so impressed with Nordstrom’s 2013-14 campaign where he had 17 goals and 33 points in 58 games that they named him the team’s captain for this season.

“He’s just a low-maintenance guy, very professional and mature for his age,” said IceHogs coach, Ted Dent. “On the work ethic side of things, the commitment is there every day. During the games and practices, he has only one gear and it’s 100 percent. Those are just great traits to have. He’s a prospect, a young up-and-coming prospect, and we haven’t given that leadership role to young guys in the past. But we thought it’d be good. We found the right guy and it made sense.”

Nordstrom has an assist in the five games with Chicago this season while averaging nearly 12 minutes of ice time. He appeared in 16 games with the Blackhawks last season scoring a goal and two assists to go along with a minus-2 rating.

His most recent stint in the AHL has allowed his game to grow.

“I got to play a lot and played in every situation on the ice,” Nordstrom said. “I feel like I’ve taken some steps since I’ve gotten here and I’m trying to get better every day.”

The Blackhawks continue their circus trip Friday when they visit the Anaheim Ducks. Chicago is 3-1-0 through the first four games of the six game trip.

Follow @dcmahiban