Blackhawks assign rookie Smith to Rockford


Chicago Blackhawks

assigned forward

Ben Smith

to Rockford of the

American Hockey League

on Monday.

The 23-year-old rookie has one goal in seven games with the Hawks this season. Smith had one hit and no shots on goal in 5 minutes, 48 seconds of ice time during the Hawks' 3-2 overtime victory over the Sharks on Sunday night at the

United Center


At the time of his Nov. 17 recall, Smith was tied for fifth in the AHL with four power-play goals, ranked second on the


with six goals and had 10 points in nine games.

Smith's departure likely paves the way for veteran

Bryan Bickell

to return to the lineup Wednesday night when the Hawks face the


in Minnesota. Bickell has been a healthy scratch for the last five games.

Twitter @ChrisKuc