Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is looking to reshuffle the deck with some international free agents
Since the firing purge has stopped for now — although Tommy Hawk might want to watch out — the Chicago Blackhawks have decided to add more pieces to the organization.
If you follow the Blackhawks closely, you know that general manager Stan Bowman loves international free agents. Last year he signed Michal Kempny from the KHL. The year prior he brought in Artemi Panarin. He also has brought in Dennis Rasmussen, Erik Gustafsson and Viktor Tikhonov in years past.
According Darren Dreger of TSN, Bowman is close to signing another European forward.
David Kampf is a 22-year-old free agent who played last season in a Czech Republic league. He has spent his entire pro career in the Czech Republic, making his way through the ranks of U17-U20 leagues before reaching the highest league. He had he best season as a pro last year, recording 15 goals and 31 points in 52 games.
His stats do not indicate that he will have a Panarin-type of impact on the ’Hawks, but my hope is that he is better than Tikhonov. Kampf was ranked the 57th best European skater in the 2015 NHL Draft, according to Elite Prospects.
He has size coming in at 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds, but went undrafted by NHL teams. He could be the type of player who will need an adjustment period to the North American style of play.
Here is a clip of Kampf playing well on the international stage.
Why this move?
The move makes sense because Kampf will be a cheaper option for the Blackhawks to try out at forward. With another cap crunch coming, the Blackhawks need bodies at a low cost.
The ’Hawks also have eight guys who are RFAs and will need new contracts if they are to remain with the organization next season. The ’Hawks could part ways with someone like Michael Latta in favor of Kampf.
The ’Hawks have their eye on Calle Rosen, another international free agent, per Scott Powers. Be advised folks: Bowman has many more moves to make this offseason.