One of the latest free agents added to the New York Rangers roster, 29-year-old Viktor Stalberg, already looks like he will be a good fit. At 6-foot-3, 210 lbs., the Swedish forward will look to add some much-needed power and aggression to the Rangers’ forecheck.
“The New York Rangers are a great fit for me,” Stalberg said in a tweet. “Their type of hockey fits my style and they have a great chance to win.”
Stalberg, who will wear No. 25 next season, played in 338 career NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks—including the franchise’s 2012-13 Stanley Cup Championship—and more recently with the Nashville Predators, before being signed to the Rangers on July 1, 2015.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 9, 2015
During the 2014-15 season, Stalberg played in 25 games with the Predators, registering two goals and eight assists. In the playoffs, he netted 3 points—tying his playoff career-high in points with one goal and two assists—and a +1 rating in the six game series. The Preds were ultimately defeated 4-2 in a best of seven against the 2014-15 Stanley Cup Champs, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Despite finishing first in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers’ style of fast-pace play was met with challenges during the postseason when they were forced to rally back after being down three games against the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning—who won the series 4-3 at Madison Square Garden in May.
After a breakout season with the Frolunda HC junior team, Stalberg was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Later that year, Stalsburg enrolled at the University of Vermont, where he got his start as a freshman playing NCAA Division I hockey for the Catamounts.
Stalberg signed to a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs in 2009, but was traded to the Blackhawks in 2010 for Kris Versteeg and Bill Sweatt. Following his success with the Blackhawks in 2013, he was acquired by the Nashville Predators, but failed to meet the team’s expectations and was sent to the Milwaukee Admirals, the Predators’ AHL affiliate team, where he registered 11 goals and six assists—including two hat-tricks—in 20 games during the 2014-15 season.
Amid concerns with his past NHL performances, Stalberg seems to fit well with the makeup of the Rangers’ roster and could very well thrive with the Blueshirts this year.