The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Fredrik Handemark to a one-year, entry-level contract worth $900,000. The Swedish centreman will join San Jose for the 2020-2021 season after seven seasons in the Swedish Hockey League. The news broke via Swedish Daily Newspaper, Aftonbladet, though the Sharks are yet to make the deal official.
Fredrik Handemark Signs With the Sharks
Over his 7-year SHL career, spanning the 2013-14 to 2019-20 seasons. Handemark has played for Leksands IF and the Malmo Redhawks. In 329 SHL games, he has notched 47 goals and 89 assists for 136 career points. He has also logged 244 penalty minutes.
The 6’4”, 209-pound, 26-year-old centreman has just recorded a career-high season in both goals (14) and points (38). He finished the year, 12th in assists and 10th in points among all SHL skaters. Handemark leaves the Swedish league as a respected leader, reliable point-producer and fierce competitor. He served as Captain of the Malmo Redhawks for three seasons, after his breakout year in 2016-17 (32 points in 47 games).
He made the SHL Playoffs on four occasions. His biggest achievement was leading the Redhawks to a semifinal berth in 2016-17 and 2017-18; they lost in four and five games, respectively. Handemark has 17 playoff points in 31 games.
What This Means for the Future
According to Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts column last month, the rumours were that both the Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks had been eyeing Handemark this year. His size and scoring consistency over the last few seasons in a strong European league makes this unsurprising. Given that both sides are retooling, the search for affordable depth down the middle is paramount.
On the face of it, San Jose has made a sensible investment. The signing hasn’t cost them much, and their cap situation is so precarious that they have no choice but to make cost-effective acquisitions. They will hope that Handemark can impose himself in North America as he joins a team with an already Swedish-heavy contingent.
Embed from Getty Images