CHICAGO – With the ink dried and a new contract signed, Luke Philp is focused on getting more game time in the NHL.
And after the Chicago Blackhawks re-signed the 27-year-old forward from Canmore on a one-year, two-way contract last week that runs through the 2023-24 season worth $775,000, Philp said it’s all about capitalizing when the big moments present themselves.
“You definitely have to prove yourself, especially at the NHL level, if you’re gonna secure anything longer, those longer deals,” said Philp. “I definitely still feel I have something to prove at the NHL level.”
Philp has played in three games with the Blackhawks this season, with the most recent being on Saturday (March 11) in the team’s 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canmorite was a last minute injury fill-in and was reassigned back to the American Hockey League (AHL) the following day.
With the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks farm team, Philp is having one of his best offensive seasons in the AHL, scoring 18 goals and 38 points in 46 games. Last summer, Philp signed with the Blackhawks on a one-year, two-way contract after spending three seasons with the Stockton Heat (now Calgary Wranglers), the Calgary Flames’ farm team.
That off-season, Philp’s objective was to find better opportunities – mainly making an NHL roster, and it paid off in Illinois. On Jan. 24, the forward made his NHL debut against the Canucks in Vancouver, and two days later, Philp recorded his first NHL point in Calgary when assisting on Boris Katchduk’s game-winning goal against the Flames.
After the two-game stint in January, Philp was sent back down to Rockford. It was expected the Blackhawks would be sellers at the March 3 trade deadline, so Philp was told to stay prepared for another call-up by Blackhawks management.
When the trigger was pulled at the deadline, which sent all-time U.S. scoring great Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers and forward Max Domi to the Dallas Stars, a new set of goals and opportunities to take advtange have once again risen to the top for the Albertan.
“It’s no secret that Chicago is rebuilding ... but I think as a guy in this organization right now you want to push to try and be an everyday NHL guy and, I think, that's where I’m at in my career,” said Philp.
“As a player, I kind of just focus on what I can control as opposed to worrying about whether I’m going up or down or what. If they call me up, I just kind of have to be ready to step up and play the best I can.”
In four seasons in the AHL, Philp has scored 58 goals and 130 points.