Niklas Hjalmarsson joins Blackhawks All-Decade Team


Throughout the 2019-20 season, NBC Sports Chicago will be unveiling its Blackhawks All-Decade Team. The roster will feature the 14 forwards, 7 defensemen and two goaltenders that made the biggest impact on the franchise from the 2010 through 2019 seasons.

During his time with the Blackhawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson was a three-time Stanley Cup champion, an Olympic silver medalist (Team Sweden, 2014) and one of the best shot-blocking defensemen ever to wear a Hawks sweater. 

Hjalmarsson, now 32, was a terminator for Chicago. He'd block shots with a velocity and placement that would take other players out of a game or worse. Yet, there he was always getting back up, often slowly, and not missing a shift. 

To his Blackhawks coach, Joel Quenneville, and his teammates he was invaluable. To them "Hammer's" will to win and his fearlessness to do whatever it took was unrivaled. 

The Eksjo, Sweden native was selected in the fourth round at No. 108 overall in the 2005 NHL Draft by the Hawks. He recorded 143 points (23 goals, 120 assists) with the Blackhawks in 10 seasons. 

The Hawks trading Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes on June 23, 2017 - the first day of the draft when it was in Chicago - was one of the most surprising moves by the team in recent history. Defenseman Connor Murphy, still with Chicago, and center Laurent Dauphin came over from Arizona in the trade. 

The D man, who's been in and out of the Coyote's lineup with injuries, was a clutch playoff performer for the Blackhawks. He had 28 points (two goals, 26 assists) and a +/- rating of +22 in 128 postseason games with the Hawks. 

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