The Chicago Blackhawks have a new Swedish forward in Victor Ejdsell.
Ejdsell, 22, decided to sign with the Nashville Predators over the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings as an unrestricted free agent last May. However, Chicago general manager Stan Bowman still had his sights locked on the 6-foot-5, 213-pound forward. Bowman acquired Ejdsell as part of the Feb. 26 trade that sent forward Ryan Hartman and Chicago’s 2018 fifth-round pick to Nashville in exchange for Ejdsell and the Predators’ 2018 first- and fourth-round picks.
Last week, Ejdsell talked about his development and the trade to Chicago.
PB: You have played almost a whole season since we spoke last time. How do you think you have developed during this season?
VE: I have more confidence with the puck, and I’m stronger at the puck. That was the main key for me in the beginning, I think, to get stronger to... feel confident with the puck and using my body and my reach and everything to give my teammates better opportunities and scoring chances. I think I’ve improved at that quite a lot later on this season.
PB: Obviously something happened Monday (trade), were you aware what was going on?
VE: Well... my agent and I spoke about it and we... he thought it was a good chance it might happen with me or another guy in the Milwaukee club would possibly be traded because we kinda knew Nashville was going for the (Stanley) Cup and they have a great opportunity. We had a clue about it, but you never know for sure. I’m excited to be in Chicago.
PB: Have you spoken to anyone in Chicago?
VE: Yeah, I’ve talked with the GM (Bowman) and a scout and they were welcoming me. We haven’t spoken more about what I’m doing overseas or what’s next or anything just welcoming me.
PB: Obviously, Chicago was one of the teams that were pursuing you last year as well. Do you feel more confident with the trade because of that?
VE: Uhh yeah maybe. I mean I went there in the summer because obviously I was interested in them, but at that time my gut told me go with Nashville. But as I said, I went there (Chicago) because I was interested so I’m glad and I’m excited about it.