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Blackhawks Prospect Niklas Nordgren Signs 2-Year Contract with Liiga’s Pelicans

The 2018 third-round pick had three assists in as many games on a loan assignment from HIFK with the Pelicans this past season.

Niklas Nordgren
Photo: Lahden Pelicans/Twitter

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Niklas Nordgren will join the Lahden Pelicans of Liiga, Finland’s top division, on a full-time basis after he signed a two-year contract Thursday.

Nordgren, who turned 21 on May 4, played only three games each for HIFK and the Pelicans this past season because of injuries. The 5-foot-9, 183-pound right wing made his season debut Dec. 18, 2020, for HIFK in his first game since Jan. 12, 2020. He played one more game for HIFK before he had three assists during a three-game loan assignment with the Pelicans in February.

Nordgren had three assists in six games while averaging 11:54 of ice time this past season.

Selected in the third round (No. 74 overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft by Chicago, Nordgren split the first two seasons after the draft between HIFK’s under-20 team and the senior team.

He scored 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 13 games for the under-20 team and seven points (four goals, three assists) in 15 games for HIFK during the 2018-19 season. His point production dipped in the 2019-20 Liiga season with one assist in 11 games, but he kept up at the junior level with 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 16 games.

The Blackhawks own Nordgren’s rights until June 2022. He will have to make a significant step forward with his play to earn a contract.

Blackhawks’ 2018 Draft Class Status

Chicago has signed five players from its eight-player 2018 draft class: Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin (first), Philipp Kurashev (fourth), Mikael Hakkarainen (fifth), and Josiah Slavin (seventh). Boqvist, Beaudin, and Kurashev have each played in the NHL, while Hakkarainen and Slavin have reached the AHL.

The Blackhawks still hold the rights to Jake Wise (third), who transferred from Boston University to Ohio State for next season, according to Scott Powers of The Athletic. Chicago decided not to sign Alexis Gravel (sixth) before his rights expired in 2020.

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Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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