Potential for big news coming out of Sweden this morning as SPORT-Expressen is reporting that Marcus Kruger will be leaving Sweden and making his Blackhawks’ debut as soon as this week, according to the report.
[UPDATE: 7:15 am] The Djurgarden Hockey web site is now reporting that Kruger is, in fact, on his way to Chicago to join the Blackhawks.
Marcus Kruger was the Blackhawks 5th round pick (149th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, playing for the Djurgarden Jr. team at that time. If the report is accurate, he would join Viktor Stalberg and Niklas Hjalmarsson in the Swedish-born Blackhawks contingent this week, about six month’s earlier than previously planned.
Kruger, who will turn 21 in May, signed his 3-year entry-level contract with the Blackhawks on June 18, 2010. His cap hit, per listing at CapGeek.com is $900,000 and his deal is heavy on performance bonuses (possible $310k) this year. Kruger’s base salary this season is $590,000 plus a $90,000 signing bonus.
This season Kruger led the Djurgarden Elitserien (Swedish Elite League) squad in scoring compiling 6 goals and 29 assists for 35 points.