The Chicago Blackhawks have finally landed their European target, signing Filip Roos to a two-year contract. The entry-level deal will carry an average annual value of $925K, and extends through the 2024-25 season. General manager Kyle Davidson released a statement:
Filip is a big body who possesses strong skating abilities for his size. That’s a combination of traits that teams across the league are always searching for. Filip played valuable minutes in Sweden’s top league this season and he will strengthen our pool of defensive prospects.
Roos was first linked to the Blackhawks in April when he was about to start his SHL playoffs. Unfortunately, he and the rest of Skelleftea AIK were eliminated rather quickly, with Roos recording just one point in six postseason appearances. While that followed his lack of offensive production from the regular season, when he scored just six points in 50 games, there is actually some upside at that side of the ice left untapped.
The 6’4″ undrafted defenseman performed quite well in the Swedish second league a year ago, adding 28 points in 52 games. His size and, perhaps most notably, excellent skating ability, make him an interesting prospect for the rebuilding Blackhawks. There will likely be plenty of playing time available in Chicago the next few years, and one way to quickly turn around an organization’s fortunes is by finding hidden gems in the undrafted market.
Still, given how little experience Roos has at the SHL level–this was his first season there–asking him to step directly into the NHL is likely out of the question. He’ll likely take some time to develop, either at the AHL level or back in Sweden for the 2022-23 campaign, where he is still under contract. He’ll have to be offered back because of the recently-signed transfer agreement, though only if he fails to make the Blackhawks. Even then, there are ways to get him to the AHL and into the Chicago development system, though that likely won’t be decided for some time.