The San Jose Sharks won’t be able to rely on Joachim Blichfeld as an injury call-up next season, as the young forward has signed a two-year contract with the Vaxjo Lakers in the SHL. The team will be able to retain his exclusive rights by issuing a qualifying offer but this is a disappointing turn for a franchise that will need young talent in the coming years.
Blichfeld, 23, made his NHL debut during the 2019-20 season and got into another handful of games in 2020-21, before spending the entire 2021-22 campaign in the minor leagues. The 6’2″ winger was excellent for the San Jose Barracuda, scoring 24 goals and 45 points in 61 games but failed to even earn a single call-up, other than a short period on the taxi squad when it was brought back in January.
He then suited up for Denmark at the World Championship, where he scored another five goals in seven games, an impressive total that easily led the squad. All of that doesn’t really matter for the Sharks now as they’ll lose him for the next two years at least, and perhaps longer if Blichfeld decides to stay overseas. While he wasn’t someone they had invested a ton of resources into–Blichfeld was a seventh-round pick, 210th overall in 2016–he did represent some nice depth for the organization.