The Chicago Blackhawks have added a depth forward, signing Ryan Carpenter to a three-year deal. The contract carries just a $1MM average annual value, giving the team an inexpensive center to plug into the bottom-six.
Carpenter signed with the San Jose Sharks after three years at Bowling Green State University and had trouble cracking the San Jose Sharks’ lineup, playing just 27 NHL games for them over three seasons before the Sharks opted to place him on waivers. He was claimed back in 2017 by the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season and his physicality and offensive ability earned him a spot on the team’s bottom six as he scored nine goals in 36 games and returned for a full season last year. Carpenter played in a career-high 68 games, but found himself often scratched late in the season as Vegas was rotating him and a number of other forwards in and out of their third line, including Brandon Pirri, Tomas Nosek and Valentin Zykov, although Carpenter also was able to fill in on the team’s fourth line as well. With the addition of Nikita Gusev, Carpenter was expendable.
In Chicago, the 28-year-old should find a more permanent home on the Blackhawks’ fourth line. The team just added forward Andrew Shaw, who will likely center that line. Carpenter should add that combination of physical play with some offensive ability. Regardless, he’ll have to hold off a number of players who will be looking for playing time, including John Quenneville, Dylan Sikura, Dominik Kubalik, Anton Wedin.