The San Jose Sharks have officially announced the signing of Radim Simek, a deal that had been reported in great detail over the past week. They also, however, announced the signing of Filip Sandberg, a Swedish forward whose market had yet to be revealed. Simek will be under a one-year entry-level contract, while Sandberg will sign a two-year entry-level deal.
While the Simek deal had been previously reported, the team offers some insight onto why they felt he was a good fit for the team going forward. GM Doug Wilson had this to say about the Czech defender:
Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge. We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America.
It’s true, Simek has proven he can contribute offensively but it will be his physical play that will allow him to stand out in the North American ranks. Though he stands under six feet, he can handle himself against professional players as he showed at the most recent World Championships for the Czech Republic. The 24-year old has a chance to compete for a spot in the NHL as soon as next season, though it will be tough to crack the Sharks group.
Sandberg on the other hand is a shifty forward capable of putting up points in bunches as he did for HV71 en route to an SHL Championship. In 16 playoff games, the 5’9″ forward scored 14 points, leading his club and ranking third in the entire postseason. At just 22, he still has room to grow and adapt to the North American game but he will have to prove he can compete physically before the Sharks hand him a roster spot. Both players will still need a lot of hard work to make an impact at the highest level, but have easily done enough in their hockey careers to warrant a closer look.