erik gustafsson

Blackhawks Sign D Erik Gustafsson

Apparently the Blackhawks weren’t done spending money in Europe yesterday, as Chicago has also apparently signed defenseman Erik Gustafsson.

Gustafsson, 23, is listed at 6-1 and 198 pounds and posted 29 points (four goals, 25 assists) in 55 games with Frolunda this season. He was drafted by Edmonton in the fourth round (93rd overall) in 2012.

20 thoughts on “Blackhawks Sign D Erik Gustafsson

  1. After I heard the Hawks possibly signing another Euro player I went searching for who it may be. Saw his name pop up. Don’t know anything about him other than being a left shot. Would assume he’s part of the Rockford re-load during the offseason since a few guys will be brought up

  2. His agent thinks playing in Rockford is a possibility which to me means he’ll be playing in Rockford.

  3. Erik used to play for DIF (same as Kruger) before he moved to frolunda of SHL. A very solid skater with a high offense potential. Sometimes he makes the first pass to a bit to compacted. The last season he was a stud and was a leader for Frolunda while they went to the semi finals.
    In the Swedish newspaper (Sportbladet) he is saying he has good chances to earn a jersey on next years roster..Like the confidence

  4. I stated a couple days ago, Gonna lose some Cap hits in Timmo, Rosy, Oduya, Vermette for sure, possibly trade Sharp, Bickell and Versteeg. May also lose Saad or Kruger. That means the Hawks will be calling up and trading for 8 skaters. SB is laying the ground work as an on going body of work.

    In the end, I think the Offense will be OK and the Defense improved. Hawks will be younger, faster and a bit bigger. It will be time for out high paid core to mentor and bring these guys along as quickly as possible. I remain bullish about the future.

  5. Brandon Saad will not be going anywhere. The Hawks won’t trade a player of his ilk when you have guys like Sharp, Seabrook, and Versteeg with 1 year remaining. Could lose Kruger, but he’s still an RFA. With the youngblood (cheap) coming up, The Hawks aren’t in quite as much as a cap hell as they were in 2010.

    We won’t see any players like a Fernando Pisani, Ryan Johnson, Andrew Brunette, Sean O’donnell etc filling in the holes on cheap deals.

  6. Just passing on what I was told about him. He’s a very smart young man and was told by the Oilers that he simply wasn’t strong or tough enough to make their roster, so he changed his daily routine and has become a work-out freak. He has great speed, soft hands and a hard, accurate shot from the point. On defence he relies on his speed and uses his stick well in the corners but does not throw his body around. As such he has good vision is usually able to make a quick, accurate first pass to get the puck out of the defensive zone. Very Johnny Oduya-like but with much more skill.

    The question will simply be can he take the pounding and the sacrifices of the NHL game? Clearly, he was worth signing.

  7. Ernie, First of all Saad is a RFA, so the Hawks won’t be trading anything. The price of his ilk and his possible desire to go home to Pitt could be the issue for the Hawks. If Pitt offers $5-6 million, I think that will be too much for the Hawks to match no matter how nice his ilk looks.

  8. FWIW, with the players under contract for next year you have 7 forwards, 3 defenseman and 2 goalies. Keeping those contracts on for now and if you include the contracts of Baun, Johns, Pokka, TvR, Teuvo, Danault it brings you to 66.8075. Add in a 4 million deal to Saad, you have 10 forwards, 6 defenseman and 2 goalies under contract for 70.8 million. Bettman has said he expects the cap to go up to 71.5. So in theory we may not see the big names (Sharp, Seabrook, Crawford) split.

    I didn’t double check my math, so errors are possible

  9. Pitt has salary cap issues of their own which has led to speculation theyll trade Malkin. Unless there is an insane offer sheet thrown Saad’s way, he’ll be a Blackhawk. I have heard nothing except sparse fan speculation/worry to believe anything other than that.

  10. His agent stated that the Hawks told him they needed left-handed shooting defensemen in the system.

    So what does this say about Dahlstrom, Norell and Fournier ??

    Also, it looks like this move might mean there are no plans to sign Nick Mattson

  11. I think Bowman has made comments,similar to what he said about Toews and Kane, that Saad is staying.

  12. We’ve got d-men prospects coming out of our ears – Johns, Pokka, TvR, Paliotta, Svedberg, Dahlstrom, Norell, Press, Fournier, Forsling, Soderberg, and now Gustafsson. What are we going to do with all these guys?

  13. Craig,

    Just to clarify the agent’s comments, he said the Blackhawks wanted left handed shooting playmaking defensemen. Some of the guys you mentioned are more stay at home types, Dahlstrom as one example.

    The other issue at play here is the development timetable of these players. Gustafsson is 23 with higher level experience vs. some of these other guys who are 20 and 21. Obviously they all aren’t going to make it – some will be traded too.

    Personally I see a lot of player movement coming at the draft for the Blackhawks. Not the time to talk about it now but in addition to trying to gain back a few draft choices I bet we’ll see some prospects being traded in package deals for a guy who hasn’t worked out for some other team, a potential higher end player.

    It’s good to have system depth and certain guys rise to the top by their play – it gets sorted out in due course. For example, I am much more encouraged by Stephen Johns in the past two months than I was earlier. After Clendening and Brennan were moved, Johns got more minutes and more important ice time (plus he’s healthy now). He looks like he can be a 5-6 guy for sure, maybe as soon as October.

  14. Excellent points Hof. I must say Stan trading such high draft picks for Vermette and Kimo was concerning at the time. But since he has added Kero, Baun, Panerin, Gustuffsson, all in that 22 or 23 age range. It’s almost like 4 bonus picks in addition to whatever this June’s draft yields.

    Like you said some will make it, other prospects might be moved, lots of options for sure.

    I look forward to your continued insight on Rockford as well Hof.

  15. On the Insider Podcast, Bowman shed some light on Gustafsson, saying he’s got some grit to his game but his real strength is moving the puck with speed, making the first pass and so on.

    Also said Gustafsson is a couple years older than the current Swedish d-man prospects “we’re really high on” so he could contribute sooner. Which to me means sometime next season after he gets acclimated a bit.

  16. Rookie poster, but love the site. So how excited should we be for these recent signings?

  17. They’re intriguing at the very least, Springfield. Artemi, like Rasmussen last summer, had a number of teams courting him but chose Chicago; unlike Rasmussen, if he isn’t on the NHL roster next year it appears he’ll head back to Russia. Gustafsson is just another talented player in the system. The Hawks are stockpiling talent right now.

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