The Chicago Blackhawks have just added a brand new forward to their roster.
There have been rumors for several days now that veteran Swedish forward Anton Wedin was leaning towards signing with the Blackhawks organization, but now it is no longer merely a rumor. According to a report from Chicago Blackhawks insider Scott Powers of The Athletic it now appears that Wedin has officially signed his first ever National Hockey League contract and will be joining the Blackhawks for the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season. Powers received confirmation of this fact directly from Michael Deutsch, the agent who was representing Wedin in his negotiations with North American teams.
“Anton was faced with a very difficult decision,” said Wedin’s agent as per The Athletic. “He had multiple offers, all of which were excellent opportunities. Ultimately, he felt that the Blackhawks were a good fit for his style of play and felt comfortable knowing that the coach already knew him from his time in Sweden.”
To be clear this will not be an Artemi Panarin type of signing for the Blackhawks here. Although Wedin is an older player, and considered to be a very late bloomer by most, he has never been known as a flashy or particularly skilled forward throughout his career. Instead what Wedin brings is a stable and intelligent presence on the ice and uses his good hockey sense to make high value and low risk plays out on the ice. By all accounts it sounds like Wedin would be a depth option for the Blackhawks next season and is a player that would potentially slot into the teams bottom 6 group of forwards.
“Anton has been one of the best forwards in the league,” a Swedish League source said. “He played for one of the worst teams. He is a speedy forward. His biggest strength is using his speed, mostly on the entry. He is not extremely skilled. His shot is not spectacular, but he is strong on the puck and is using his skating to create time and space. Besides that, he is a pretty all-around player. I have seen him play both center and winger, but I think he is way more effective as a winger. He’s a late bloomer — played his first season in the top league this season. He may have to start in the AHL.”
I would not be at all surprised to see the Blackhawks send Wedin down to the American Hockey League to help him adapt to the North American game before using him at the NHL level. That being said how he performs in training camp will likely determine how his career within the Blackhawks organization will begin next season.