The Calgary Flames have signed free agent forward Joakim Nordstrom to a one-year, $700K contract. Nordstrom spent the last two seasons with the Boston Bruins after starting his career with stints in Carolina and Chicago.
Nordstrom, 28, didn’t quite make it onto our Top 50 UFA board, but easily could have in a normal offseason. There’s almost no offensive production in the Swedish winger, but that doesn’t mean he can’t an effective NHL option. Just like those players that need sheltered minutes and time on the powerplay to contribute, Nordstrom is deployed in hard defensive matchups almost exclusively. In the 48 games he played for Boston this season, nearly 72% of his zone starts were in the defensive end, more than any other player on the team. He also led all Bruins forwards in average shorthanded ice time, spending nearly two minutes a game on the penalty kill.
In the Bruins 2018-19 playoff run that ended in the Stanley Cup Finals, those numbers were even more dramatic as Nordstrom was deployed on an incredibly important checking line. He managed to actually record eight points in those 23 playoff contests, more than he had in the entire 2019-20 regular season.
You simply can’t rely on Nordstrom to score, given he’s only accumulated 68 points in a 400-game NHL career, but he’ll help Calgary’s bottom-six become much tougher to score against. The team allowed players like Mark Jankowski, Tobias Rieder, and Austin Czarnik to hit the open market, leaving some opportunity for young players or a name like Nordstrom to slide into the lineup on a regular basis.