Blackhawks sign a trio of international players on Tuesday
CHICAGO – Knowing his past luck with finding players, many will look at the trio of players signed by Stan Bowman on Tuesday and wonder which one may become the next star.
Of course Blackhawks fans will have to wait to see if goaltender Lars Johansson, defenseman Michal Kempny and forward Martin Lundberg become standouts for the franchise, but at the least they’ll have a year to grow in the club’s system.
The team announced a one-year contract with all three international players as the Blackhawks continue with their long offseason following an early exit from the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Johansson has posted 11 shutouts while playing the last three seasons in the Swedish Hockey League with Frolunda HC. This past season with the club he had a league-high 1.74 goals against average along with 27 victories.
He is the oldest of the group of new players at 28 while the others are 25. Lundberg was also in the Swedish Hockey League with Skelleftea AIK and had 13 goals and 8 assists this past season. The forward has extensive experience in the SHL having played in 402 games since starting in the league in 2007.
Kempny has had two big stops during his career Europe. He started with Czech Extraliga’s HC Kometa Brno and HC Slavia Praha from 2008-2015 before going to the Kontinental Hockey League this past season. In his first season with the Avangard Omsk, Kempny had five goals and 16 assists in 59 regular season games.