Chicago added to its organizational depth at goaltender on Thursday, announcing the signing of Swedish goalie Arvid Söderblom to an entry-level contract.
The deal is for two seasons with a salary cap hit of $883,750 and expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Söderblom was second in the Swedish Hockey League with a .922 save percentage, shared second with a 2.03 goals-against average and four shutouts in 22 regular-season appearances during the 2020-21 campaign for Skellefteå AIK. https://t.co/z9OJUpVxPf— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) May 13, 2021
Söderblom, who’ll turn 22 in August, is a 6-foot-3, 179-pound native of Göteborg, Sweden and spent last season playing with Skelleftea AIK in the top division of the Swedish Hockey League. He posted a .922 save percentage that was second in the league and tied for second place with four shutouts and 2.03 goals-against average. In two postseason games, Söderblom was even better with a .951 SV% and 1.54 GAA.
According to Scott Powers of The Athletic, the expectation is that Söderblom will be in North America for the next hockey season, likely playing for the Rockford IceHogs.
The Blackhawks are a little thin in net behind the top trio of Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Malcolm Subban. With 2020 second-round pick (46th overall) Drew Commesso returning to Boston University next season, Matt Tomkins — a 2012 seventh-round pick (199th overall) — is the only other goalie in the organization with an NHL contract. Former Notre Dame goalie Cale Morris played on a one-year AHL deal last season and had the best numbers of the bunch (2-3, .923 SV%, 2.52 GAA), which also included Ivan Nalimov (2-2, .885, 3.43) and Tom Auburn (0-1, .840, 5.35).
Should Söderblom impress in training camp, it looks like there’d be ice time available for him in the Rockford net.