As the IceHogs prepare for their home opener this weekend, they get to do it with a familiar face. After helping Chicago open up their regular season on Friday, defenseman Dennis Gilbert returns to play in Rockford.
In his professional debut with the IceHogs last season, Gilbert logged 14 points in 63 games. He was also named most improved player. The Buffalo, NY native had his first career promotion with the Blackhawks on April 2nd. He had a game-high six hits in his NHL debut against St. Louis the following night.
Even with some recognition, Gilbert says his mindset stays the same. He’s always looking to get better at something, regardless of how good he may be at it.
“I think I’m a good skater but I want to be a great skater,” Gilbert explained. “I think I’m a good defender but I want to be a great defender. To be great at [the NHL] level, you have to be dominant at [the AHL] level. I’m going to be working really hard in practice and the games to make sure I’m pushing myself to get better, whether that’s my gap control, using my feet to get up and killin’ plays, being good offensively [and] taking a leadership role down here.”
The IceHogs’ home opener is on Satuday, October 12th. It starts at 6 p.m.