It may not sound surprising to most people, but Swedish defenseman David Rundblad has been put on buy-out waivers by the Chicago Blackhawks today, as reported by ESPN journalist Pierre LeBrun.
Rundblad, who was a blue-chip prospect back in the days, never become an impact player in the NHL, skating in only 113 NHL games in five seasons in North America. This news is not surprising also considering that Rundblad was loaned to Swiss NLA team ZSC Zurich earlier this season after once again failing to claim a full-time spot in the lineup. Rundblad has still one year left on his contract with the Hawks, with a cap hit of $1.050 million. This move won’t allow the Hawks to clear a lot of cap space, but it will allow them not to waste a roster spot for a player that it’s pretty evident they aren’t going to make much use of.
Blackhawks place David Runblad on buyout waivers today
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2016
Rundblad was drafted during the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues, who picked him 17th overall. He reported to North America after a tremendous 2010-11 season in the SHL with Skelleftea, where he was awarded defenseman-of-the-year honors after scoring 50 points in 59 regular season games.
The Swedish defenseman never enjoyed this kind of success in the NHL, and he was part of the Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes and, most recently, Chicago Blackhawks, without ever really finding his place. As said earlier, he spent a significant portion of this season with ZSC Lions of the NLA, where he played with 2016 NHL Draft first overall pick Auston Matthews.
It is unknown where Rundblad will spend the next season. The Lions still have import slots open, so maybe they will be interested in getting him back for the 2016-17 campaign. Currently, Spartak Moscow own his rights in the KHL, but they currently have no import slots open.