The Blackhawks announced that they signed 27-year-old defenseman Philip Holm on Tuesday.
The Chicago Blackhawks have had a busy offseason, and that continued on Tuesday afternoon. The ‘Hawks signed Swedish defenseman Philip Holm to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 at the NHL level and $300,000 at the AHL level. The journeyman defenseman has played multiple seasons across Europe and has spent one season playing in North America.
Philip Holm began his professional career in Sweden and spent 2011-2016 playing for Djurgardens IF. Holm recorded 12 goals and 28 assists in 234 games with Djurgardens IF as they bounced around from the SHL to the Allsvenskan league. During his final season in Sweden, Holm played for the Vaxjo Lakers HC and had a terrific season. He tallied 21 points (4G, 17A) in 52 games and had the best plus-minus rating (+24) in the SHL. Jeremy Colliton likely saw Holm play on multiple occasions during his tenure as Head Coach of Mora IK of the SHL.
Following up his career-best season for the Vaxjo Lakers HC, Holm took home (haha) a gold medal in 2017 after playing for the Swedish World Championship team. He recorded one goal and two assists in seven tournament games.
Holm was then signed by the Vancouver Canucks and made the jump to North America. He played just one game at the NHL level and spent most of his time in the Canucks’ organization playing for the Utica Comets. Holm was eventually traded to the Vegas Golden Knights, but he finished the 2017-18 season with their AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. In 63 AHL games between Utica and Chicago, Holm recorded 12 goals and 26 assists.
Holm’s Return To Europe
After just one season in North America, Philip Holm returned to Europe to play for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL. Holm had a solid season in the KHL, as he picked up 26 points (7G, 19A) in 61 regular-season games. Holm’s efforts led to him being named a KHL All-Star. Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod wound up making the postseason, and Holm recorded one goal and four assists in five playoff games. Unfortunately, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod was eliminated in the first round of the KHL playoffs.
Back To North America
Holm, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defenseman, will join a crowded Blackhawks defenseman group. He should have no problem fitting in though, as the ‘Hawks have a few Swedes already on their blueline. Erik Gustafsson, Adam Boqvist, Carl Dahlstrom, and Lucas Carlsson all are Sweden Natives.
With such a jam at defenseman though, Holm is expected to begin the season with the Rockford IceHogs. The Blackhawks know that Keith, Seabrook, Murphy, Maatta, and Gustafsson will be on the opening night roster. If Calvin de Haan is healthy, he will join them. Slater Koekkoek appears to have a leg up on Carl Dahlstrom for the seventh defenseman spot, but that could change during camp and the preseason. Then there’s Adam Boqvist, who has a legitimate chance to make the NHL out of camp. It seems that Holm has nowhere to go but the AHL, but that could change during the season.
It will be exciting to see what kind of talents Philip Holm possesses during the Blackhawks preseason and training camp.
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