On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms with Viktor Svedberg to sign the defenseman to a two-year deal. The deal runs through the 2017-18 season. Currently, details about money are unknown, but stick with Blackhawk Up on Twitter to find out more once the financial details become public. Currently, his cap hit is at $575,000
The 24-year-old made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks on October 10 this season in a game against the New York Islanders. He has played 19 games with the Blackhawks this season, in which he has recorded two goals, two assists, 31 shots and has averaged about 16:51 minutes per game in ice time. In terms of possession this season, he is hovering right around 50 Corsi-for, which is average.
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In two seasons with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, Svedberg recorded five goals and 18 assists in 84 games played. While these scoring numbers may not jump off the page, in those 84 games Svedberg has a plus/minus rating of plus-19. Along with these numbers, he is a huge body at 6-foot-8 and 234 pounds that gets in shooting lanes and can clear opposing bodies out of the way of goaltender Corey Crawford, as well as his AHL netminders.
Given how bad the defense has been in Chicago this season, with Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook being asked to do much of the heavy lifting, this is a solid signing with a whole lot of upside. I can’t imagine Svedberg will be getting very much money, so I think this is a safe signing given the body size and strength Svedberg has.
Coach Joel Quenneville and the rest of the staff can definitely work with Svedberg to optimize his potential in his position. I do believe that Svedberg is a better player than Trevor van Riemsdyk, but Svedberg has clearly not been given the same ice time and opportunities as TVR. Hopefully, Q gets the big man out there more often. Good signing overall.
This will probably also be an important signing given the Blackhawks’ impending (again) salary cap crunch. The defense is obviously not very good as currently constructed, and it’s not clear if Michal Rozsival will return next season, nor if Christian Ehrhoff will be back. Plus, General Manager Stan Bowman probably will have very little money to spend on fortifying the blue line. With only Ville Pokka really projecting to come up next season, beyond Svedberg, the deal makes sense, especially if the price is right.
What do you think about the signing? Let us know in the comments section.