Why Wallmark believes he can take 'next step' with Hawks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks added to their forward group on Monday by bringing in Lucas Wallmark on a one-year, $950,000 contract. The team also signed Mattias Janmark to a one-year deal earlier in the day.
It's not a flashy signing, but Wallmark is a dependable bottom-six center who can kill penalties and has a career faceoff win percentage of 50.9.
"I feel like Chicago is a great organization," Wallmark said in a video conference call on Tuesday. "I like the way they play the game and how they've been playing here, so I think that's a good fit for me how I would play the game. I'm super excited to be a part of it."
Wallmark's best offensive season came in 2018-19 when he registered 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 81 games with the Carolina Hurricanes. He scored a career-high 12 goals this past season and was on pace to hit the 30-point mark before the NHL was put on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wallmark knows he's more of a defensive specialist than an offensive player, but that doesn't mean he's not striving to put up better numbers offensively. And with his spot in the lineup not necessarily guaranteed, the 25-year-old Swedish native will try to strengthen his overall game to make him a more valuable piece to the puzzle.
"You're never happy and you always want to produce more and do more," Wallmark said. "Hopefully I can start producing offensively more too and still play solid at other ends of the ice, too. I want to be a good player in both ends, and I want to take the next step as a player and I think I have a great chance to do that here with the Blackhawks."