The Chicago Blackhawks signed little-known Swedish forward Jacob Nilsson to an entry-level contract today
With the free agent market set to open on July 1, there won’t be any big splash signings until then. The Chicago Blackhawks’ one-year deal for Jacob Nilsson, announced Thursday, is no major deal. Nilsson played in the SHL last season, recording just 18 points in 40 games.
There’s really not much to report on him, but there is a video of him from 2017.
Mora IK vinner på bortais! Jacob Nilsson tar sig in framför mål och trycker in matchavgörande 3-2-målet mot Leksand.
Posted by C More Hockey on Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Nilsson (No. 39 in red) wins a nice board battle in the above clip to score with a quick backhand. He’s yet another medium-sized forward at 5-foot-11 and 179 pounds. He will be 25 years old when the 2018-19 NHL season begins, so he’s not really a prospect. Perhaps Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman sees potential from a 20-goal season in 2016-17 to add some depth in Rockford.
Again, this is not any major transaction. But, at least we know Bowman is doing his homework to improve his organization at every level. He recently signed German Olympian Dominik Kahun to an entry-level contract. He could compete for an NHL spot this fall.
Perhaps Nilsson could at some point as well. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Vegas Golden Knights this year, it’s that the players you least expect to perform well sometimes can.
It’s not as if the Blackhawks are getting another Artemi Panarin here, but they’re at the very least finding a cheap option who can either bolster the minor-league ranks or shock fans by making a run to the NHL level.
If you’ve been watching the Stanley Cup Final, it’s easy to see the ‘Hawks will need to upgrade their roster to be serious Cup contenders moving forward. Bowman definitely needs to focus on defense, but it doesn’t hurt to add forwards whom he feels fit into the changing organizational mold of going faster and quicker. We’ll continue to monitor Bowman’s moves to improve this team sooner rather than later.