With the excitement over the NHL’s initial plans to restart play with a 24 team play-in tournament that will lead to a full 16 team playoff, the Blackhawks wasted no time adding players to their system. In his Powers Points, this morning, Scott Powers of The Athletic revealed that a source has informed him that the team has signed Czech right wing Matej Chalupa.
According to @ByScottPowers, the #Blackhawks have agreed to an entry-level contract with Czech right winger Matej Chalupa. Had 24 points in 50 games last season for HK Hradec Kralove in the Czech league #NHL pic.twitter.com/8FULjgMI1C
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) May 29, 2020
Great last name aside, the 21 year old Chalupa played for HK Hradec Kralove of the Czech League this past season, scoring 24 points (7 goals, 17 assists) in 50 games. He is left-handed and listed at 6’2″ 194 lbs. The two year entry level deal will start for the ’20-21 season and is worth $925,000 AAV.
The newest Blackhawks prospect was teammates with another name familiar to Chicago fans, Dominik Kubalik, as they played with the 2018-19 HC Škoda Plzeň team in the Czech League. Previous Stan Bowman free agent signings center David Kampf and defenseman Jan Rutta were also plucked out of the Czech League. The Blackhawks are familiar with playing in the Czech Republic, opening this season in Prague against the Philadelphia Flyers as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series, as well.
Where Chalupa fits in the pecking order is yet to be determined, but it’s likely he begins the season in Rockford. Potentially unhappy with their opportunities in the Blackhawks organization, Anton Wedin and Jacob Nilsson made their way back to Europe recently, so there will be positions to fill in with the IceHogs for the 2020-21 season.
He is very fast and strong winger who likes to play in dirty areas and likes to create chances off the rush with his playmaking abilities. Has a pretty good skillset offensively and is pretty good defensively as well. He is a good bottom-6 talent. Likely starts in Rockford.
— Samuel Tirpak (@SammyT_51) May 29, 2020