The Chicago Blackhawks signed Henrik Borgström to a two-year, $2 million contract Wednesday. Scott Powers of The Athletic first reported the news.
The Blackhawks acquired the 23-year-old center from the Florida Panthers in a multi-player trade April 8. He was a restricted free agent and did not sign with the Panthers.
Borgström played this season for HIFK in Finland’s top division, Liiga. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound center scored 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) and was 52.6 percent on face-offs in 30 regular season games. He also recorded five points (two goals, three assists) and was 51 percent on face-offs in eight playoff games.
Selected in the first round (No. 23 overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft, Borgström scored 95 points (45 goals, 50 assists) in 77 games in two seasons at Denver before he signed with Florida. He has scored 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 58 NHL games for the Panthers since the 2017-18 season.
Borgström is expected to occupy a top-nine center role along with Kirby Dach, 20, and Jonathan Toews, 33, who did not play this season because of an illness. With Toews out this season and Dach missing most of the season recovering from surgery on his fractured right wrist, the Blackhawks mainly used Dylan Strome and rookies Pius Suter and Philipp Kurashev in top-nine center roles.
Kurashev and Strome are each signed for next season, which is expected to be a regular 82-game season. Kurashev has one year remaining on his entry-level contract, while Strome signed a two-year, $6 million contract Jan. 3. Suter is set to be a restricted free agent, but has expressed he wants to re-sign with Chicago.
With Borgström in the fold, Kurashev and Strome – and possibly Suter if he returns – will likely move to the wing for next season.