The San Jose Sharks signed a pair of Western Hockey League forwards Thursday, agreeing to terms on three-year entry-level contracts with Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks and Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Blichfeld was already a member of the Sharks’ organization after the 1998-born import forward was selected in the seventh round, 210th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound product of Frederikshavn, Denmark has 30 points (13G-17A) in 26 games with the Winterhawks this season.
“Joachim is a natural goal scorer and can change a game with his shooting ability and hockey sense,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a release issued by the NHL club. “He has proven to be one of the top goal scorers in the Western Hockey League and his puck possession game fits well with the way we want to play. We’re excited to see Joachim continue to evolve as a player.”
Originally selected by the Winterhawks in the second round, 85th overall, of the 2016 CHL Import Draft, Blichfeld has been a key piece to the Winterhawks success since coming to the Pacific Northwest. In 89 WHL regular season games, Blichfeld has tallied 88 points (41G-47A). He is currently representing Denmark at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y.
Blichfeld has added 10 points (5G-5A) in 11 WHL playoff games. In 24 games this season, Blichfeld has eight multi-point games and three multi-goal efforts, including his first career WHL hat trick on November 24, 2017 against the Red Deer Rebels. In 63 games last season, Blichfeld had 15 multi-point efforts. Overall, 14 of his 41 career WHL goals have come on the power play with eight serving as game-winning goals.
The Sharks also announced the signing of Halbgewachs, who has followed up a 101-point campaign in the 2016-17 WHL season with another strong performance. Through 36 games, Halbgewachs has 61 points (35G-26A), including 11 power play goals and five game-winners. He currently sits tied for the league lead in goals with 35 and sits tied for fourth in the scoring race, ten points behind the league leader.
“Jayden is the top goal scorer in Canadian major juniors and has been one of the top point producers in the WHL over the last two seasons,” Wilson added in a separate release. “His combination of elite speed, high-end skill and ability to pressure both ends of the ice make him a dangerous player who makes others around him better. We’re excited he is joining our organization.”
Originally selected by the Kamloops Blazers in the first round, 19th overall, of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, Halbgewachs has played his entire career with the Warriors, tallying 212 points (104G-108A) in 240 games.
The 5-foot-8, 165-pound product of Emerald Park, Sask. has set career-highs for power play goals this season and is well on his way to setting other career-highs for goals, assists, points and game-winning goals in a single season.