Hjalmarsson with the Chicago Blackhawks in December 2014
6 June 1987 |
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||93 kg (205 lb; 14 st 9 lb)|
|NHL Draft||108th overall, 2005
Niklas Hjalmarsson (born 6 June 1987) is a Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has won three Stanley Cups during his playing career, in 2010, 2013, and 2015, as well as a silver Olympic medal with Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
In the 2007–08 season, his first in North America, Hjalmarsson made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks. After spending the majority of the season with the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, he procured a regular spot on the roster after defenceman James Wisniewski's trade to the Anaheim Ducks.
Hjalmarsson became a key part of the Blackhawks' lineup late into the 2008–09 season and to begin the 2009–10 season. In 2009–10, he played 77 games in the regular season and all 22 in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the team, averaging over 19 minutes played per game, switching between the second and third defensive pairings. Over that time, he recorded a production value (PROD) of a point roughly every 45 minutes of it, while his season PROD was 89 minutes. During the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, a slapshot Hjalmarsson took was redirected by teammate Andrew Ladd to give Chicago a 3–2 lead in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals; the team won the game in overtime, 4–3, and eventually the 2010 Stanley Cup.
On 9 July 2010, shortly after the end of the season, Hjalmarsson signed a four-year, $14 million offer sheet with the San Jose Sharks. Three days later, however, on 12 July, the Blackhawks announced that they would match the offer sheet. Hjalmarsson became the first NHL defenceman in 13 years to receive an offer sheet as a restricted free agent, and, critically, Chicago's matching of the offer meant that they no longer had enough cap space to re-sign goaltender Antti Niemi, who coincidentally ended up joining the Sharks later that off-season.
The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. During the 2013 off-season, Hjalmarsson signed a five-year extension with the Blackhawks, at an annual average salary of $4.1 million.
The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup again in 2015, making Hjalmarsson one of only seven players to be part of the 2010, 2013, and 2015 Stanley Cup victories.
Regular season and playoffs
|Men's ice hockey|
|IIHF World U18 Championships|
- "Sharks sign free agent D Hjalmarsson to offer sheet". TSN. Associated Press. 9 July 2010. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
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