Winger Jakub Pour was signed to a 2-year Entry-Level Contract with the Blackhawks on June 15th, from Extraliga in the Czech league. A former teammate of Dominik Kubalik, what does this signing mean for the ‘Hawks moving forward?
The Blackhawks under Stan Bowman have been successful in bringing over European free agents and getting solid performances out of them. From Artemi Panarin to Pius Suter, the list of players they have uncovered and convinced to sign in Chicago is impressive and has been a boon to the organization. So what do we have in the latest, RW Jakub Pour?
Pour has played the last 4 seasons in the Czech Extraliga league (per Cap Friendly), on the same team that Dominik Kubalik came from. He is a big forward at 6’3, and almost 200 lbs. The Blackhawks don’t have a lot of size on the wings, and Pour would help that.
He does not seem to be the same kind of player as Kubalik or Suter, where he is not a prolific playmaker or scorer (career-high of 12 goals, 16 points in the Czech league this past season in 48 games), but I think we can look at another recent Czech import to see what the ‘Hawks plans for him would be.
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Last year, Matej Chalupa came over from Extraliga, with similar size and performance in the Czech league to Pour, and spent the season in Rockford, notching 7 points in 27 games. I would presume that the ‘Hawks are planning to put Pour in Rockford for a season or two, and see if there is enough there to make him a bottom 6 contributor in the future.
So while this doesn’t have much of an impact on the main roster, what it does make me think about are the changes being made in Rockford now that the ‘Hawks are in control of the franchise. One thing I know for certain: The ‘Hawks organization would not have bought the Icehogs if they didn’t think they could make money by having them.
Adding players from the European leagues to the Icehogs’ roster, as well as draft picks, could serve to improve the product on the ice. In other parts of the country, AHL Hockey has a strong and loyal fan following. The IceHogs have seen 4 straight years of declining attendance (not counting 2020-21).
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The Blackhawks organization is renovating the arena, increasing their presence from a player development standpoint, and now appears to be adding more professional talent to the team. Adding excitement, talent, and hopefully, success to the IceHogs organization will help cultivate that strong and loyal fan base that the team surely wants to build.