Defenseman Jan Rutta has finally decided where he wants to make his NHL debut.
Blackhawks have signed highly sought after Czech free agent defenseman Jan Rutta
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 7, 2017
The signing adds to a list of Czech signings Chicago has made recently. The list includes Michal Kempny and David Kampf, one of Rutta’s teammates in the Czech league.
Jan Rutta Signs One-Year Deal with Chicago Blackhawks
The 26-year old Czech defenseman has received interest from most of the NHL, after having an impressive season last year. The right handed shooting Rutta totalled 32 points in 46 games. He’s flexible in every field, which is the key reason the Hawks had interest. general manager Stan Bowman said, “His addition to the organization makes our defense more dynamic and he has shown he can contribute offensively as well.” Bowman also said the Hawks have been interested in Rutta for a few years now. After his great year, they finally pulled the trigger on signing him.
Rutta provides a little bit of insurance to a team whose defense may look competely different soon. Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell both have expiring contracts, and it’s not guaranteed the Hawks will have the cap space to re-sign either. The team is also likely to lose Trevor van Riemsdyk, whether it’s to a trade or the expansion draft. This leaves a gap in the team’s lineup, a gap that Rutta is expected to fill.
The Hawks are optimistic that Rutta will do great in the NHL. He placed third on his team in points, first amongst the defensemen. The previous year he tied for fourth on the team in points. Hopefuly he’s able to at least contribute in the NHL, because the Hawks don’t have many players able to replace him. With their dwindling defensive core, Rutta’s success would be very reassuring.