The Chicago Blackhawks add defensive depth with the signing of Swedish defenseman Philip Holm.
This move helps to bolster the negative defensive rating the Chicago Blackhawks carried throughout most of last year.
The Chicago Blackhawks make a move today by adding defensive depth. The ‘Hawks add a 27-year-old defenseman Philip Holm on a two-way contract.
This is a low-risk move, because financially, it will only cost the Blackhawks 700k if he makes the ‘Hawks NHL roster.
What This Means for Blackhawks
The defensive depth has certainly been upgraded over last year’s debacle. The Blackhawks defense was certainly one of the worst in the league.
The defense, at times during the 2018-19 season, seemed lost and the defensive structure was porous. This signing could also bode well for the ‘Hawks.
"“Holm should fit in well socially among the Hawks’ heavily Swedish defensive corps — Erik Gustafsson, Carl Dahlstrom, top prospect Adam Boqvist and minor-leaguer Lucas Carlsson are all countrymen.” (via Chicago Sun Times)"
What Philip Holm Brings to the Blackhawks
Philip Holm is going to be a good addition to the Rockford IceHogs, or Blackhawks, this season. He has a veteran presence that helps any defensive core.
Also, he has the ability to move the puck efficiently through all zones. I do believe that Holm could possibly make the Blackhawks as a third pair defenseman.
He does have some offensive ability that could help this team make the 2020 playoffs. Two years ago, he scored 29 goals in 42 games with the Utica Comets of the AHL.
That same year, the Vancouver Canucks brought him up to play in the NHL. He played just one game and was unfortunately sent back down.
During the 2017 season, the Canucks then traded him to the Vegas Golden Knights. His performance was much of the same.
However, he is a left-handed shot with 9 points in 21 games. That next year, he decided to go to the KHL. He scored 29 points (7G, 22A) in 61 games. As you can see, he does have some offensive upside.
In conclusion, Philip Holm is a good pickup for the Chicago Blackhawks. He can be a third pairing defenseman or 7th defenseman for the team. It is important to add depth to a position of need, which for the Blackhawks was their defense.
I think it’s also an important signing, because Holm has some continuity with the Swedish players on the team. Also, he shoots left handed and can move the puck through the three zones in efficient manner, which is extremely important in modern day hockey.