Mattias Janmark was signed to a one-year, 2.25 million contract in the offseason.
The Chicago Blackhawks signed Mattias Janmark in the offseason for trade bait, most likely. No one expected the Blackhawks to be where they are (playoff contender) and in the position, they are in (top ten) right now. Every piece they added to the roster has made a huge contribution to this surprising run. Just like the rookies, Janmark has stood out as a surprising contributor to the Blackhawks’ success.
Like many others, I thought Janmark would be a full defensive forward on the third line. After all, that’s where he played with the Dallas Stars for the last couple of years. He was never an offensive threat for the opposition, so trading him at the deadline wasn’t so farfetched. Fast forward just a few months? He’s someone the opposition needs to keep a close eye on.
He is FAST. He can skate coast to coast with the puck much faster than I expected. In the postseason, I didn’t see him on the ice that much, and when I did he didn’t do anything to take note of. But he was given a defensive role, and that’s what he did.
This season is completely different where the Blackhawks gave him a more offensive role. He has surprising speed and puck control that creates chances in the offensive zone, either for himself or his teammates. His shot is underrated, scoring the Blackhawks’ lone goal vs Dallas in game one of the series being a tough snipe just a few feet from the goal line.
I never saw any of this from him in the games the Blackhawks played against him (That I can remember) last season, so this is a welcomed surprise. He has made the Blackhawks a deeper team offensively, with three lines posing a scoring threat.
Now, should the Blackhawks sign him?
For the reasons I stated above, he also has grit in his game, getting to the dirty areas and not afraid to lay the body. He is still just as defensively sound as he was in Dallas, making him a reliable option on both ends. He is a swiss-army knife for the Blackhawks, and they need to sign him to another deal when this season ends. How much? I’m not sure, but with Brent Seabrook retiring, the Blackhawks have enough cap space to keep the band together.
Blackhawks fans should expect to see Janmark back in the ‘Hawks jersey for the 2021-22 season.