Swedish power forward Victor Ejdsell could play a big role — literally — in the Chicago Blackhawks’ future plans
On Monday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks traded former first-round draft pick Ryan Hartman and a 2018 fifth-round pick to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick, a 2018 fourth-round pick and 22-year-old Swedish prospect Victor Ejdsell (pronounced “aid-sell”).
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman stated that “with the value we were getting for him (Hartman), it was a really tough deal to pass up.”
Bowman also spoke highly of Ejdsell, whom the ‘Hawks tried to recruit last season before he signed a two-year, entry-level contract ($925,000 AAV) with the Nashville Predators. Bowman called Ejdsell a highly-skilled player and one of many talented young prospects the Blackhawks expect to impact their team in the near future.
It’s interesting to note that in an article from NHL.com, Ejdsell describes falling in love with the Nashville culture and environment during the first-round of the playoffs last season, when the Predators swept the Blackhawks.
Ejdsell is a big body at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. Last season, he was the MVP of the Swedish second league and Forward of the Year, leading the league in points with 57. If you watch his highlights from that season, you not only notice his size but his great hands.
With 17 goals and 13 assists in 30 games this season with HV71 Jonkoping of the SHL, Ejdsell seems to have no problems putting the puck in the net.
Ejdsell is just the first of hopefully another group of players added to the Blackhawks’ prospect pool in hopes of replenishing that area. The past few seasons, the ‘Hawks have traded away several young prospects while Cup chasing, but it looks like their window of opportunity is close to being closed.
The ‘Hawks now have two first-round picks, two thirds and one pick in Rounds 4-7 in the 2018 NHL Draft. There are also several pieces on the roster the ‘Hawks could flip for more assets depending on trade partners this summer.
If coach Joel Quenneville isn’t with the organization, you can assume a larger-scale rebuild may be upon them. Either way, the youth movement is here, and Victor Ejdsell is a name Blackhawks fans need to know.