Hawks Insider

Former Blackhawks D Niklas Hjalmarsson is retiring from NHL

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Hawks Insider
Niklas Hjalmarsson

One of the greatest defensive defensemen in franchise history is hanging up the skates.

Former Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is retiring from the NHL after 14 seasons, according to Arizona Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan. He is not expected to announce the news in a formal statement.

Hjalmarsson, 34, spent his first 10 seasons in Chicago, where he played a crucial role in helping the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups. He often shut down the opponents' top players on a nightly basis and was a staple on the penalty kill.

Hjalmarsson recorded 143 points (23 goals, 120 assists) and had a plus-109 rating in 623 career games with the Blackhawks. He also compiled 28 points (two goals, 26 assists) and averaged exactly 22:00 of ice time in 128 postseason contests.

Only Brent Seabrook (1,374) blocked more shots in the regular season than Hjalmarsson (1,186) during the Swedish defenseman's 10-year run with the Blackhawks, and no player blocked more shots than Hjalmarsson in the postseason (306).

Hjalmarsson finishes his career with 821 games played, 25 goals, 147 assists, 172 points and a plus-106 rating in the regular season. He added another 137 games, two goals, 27 assists, 29 points and a plus-15 rating in the postseason.

Hjalmarsson was drafted by the Blackhawks in the fourth round (No. 108 overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft. He will go down as one of the best value draft picks in team history.

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