Former Chicago Blackhawks prospect Roy Radke has signed a one-year deal with SaiPa of the top Finnish league Liiga, per Finnish reports and The Athletic’s Scott Powers. This may be the last we hear of Radke for a while given he’s no longer under the team’s control.
The Hawks selected Radke in the sixth round (No. 164 overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. As a 20-year-old out of major juniors, his draft rights expired this summer when the team declined to sign him to an entry-level contract, even though he wanted an offer.
Radke is a power forward who never quite put it together with the Barrie Colts in the OHL. He put up just 18 points in 64 games as an 18-year-old during his draft year, which kind of makes you wonder what the team saw in him in the first place. He was better in his second year with 39 points in 66 games, showing signs he could translate that size and skating into production. Not that going scoreless in 15 playoff games that year helped.
Then in 2016-17, Radke failed to take a leap with 36 points in 45 games. Yes, it was his best per-game point production and he had 23 goals, but we’re talking about someone who spent most of the season as a 20-year-old in the OHL. Failing to put up a point-per-game is a good indicator of why the Blackhawks didn’t sign him.
The Hawks were all about power forwards at the 2015 draft, which saw them draft Radke, Graham Knott, and Radovan Bondra with three of their first five picks. So far, the returns haven’t been great. Knott will play in the AHL this season, while is heading back to juniors even though he’ll be 21 when the season is over. Radke, meanwhile, is out of the picture as he heads to Finland.