26-Year-Old Center – Chicago Blackhawks
Marcus Kruger Contract Information:
Signed a three-year contract extension worth $9.25 million with Chicago in March 2016. The deal runs through the 2018-19 season.
Kruger (upper body) was able to practice Thursday and looks to be healthy for Sunday's World Cup opener against Team Russia, Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports.
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Marcus Kruger: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Kruger failed to lockdown the job of second-line pivot last season and he finished with eight goals and 20 assists. He was a beast in the faceoff circle, though, where he increased his winning percentage from 46.3 percent to 56.7 percent. He will toil in the Hawks' bottom six and deliver more value on the ice than in the fantasy arena.
Kruger, who was mainly the Hawks' fourth-line center last season, "could" move up to the second line for this season. However, he could also remain on the fourth line. Nothing is guaranteed besides the opportunity and it's a stretch to think the Hawks will slide him between Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. Kruger has really carved out a niche on the penalty kill and he'll likely reprise that role in 2013-14. Unfortunately, that limits his potential output and his fantasy value, too.
Kruger's first full season was pretty impressive -- nine goals and 17 assists in 71 games -- for a 21-year-old rookie center from overseas with just seven previous NHL games under his belt. This elite playmaker has a high hockey IQ and great two-way skills, and he should take another step in his progress this year.
The 21-year-old Kruger had a cup of coffee with the Blackhawks, having skated in seven games during the 2010-11 regular season after coming over from the Swedish Elite League. He led the Djurgardens team in scoring, but did not record a point in the U.S. for his first tour of the NHL. He arrived in the states after Dave Bolland went down with an injury, and could see time as a center on one of the lower lines this season. Kruger started the 2011-12 season at Rockford of the AHL.
The 20-year-old Kruger is expected to start the 2010-11 season in the minors. He was ranked second on Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Elite League with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 38 regular-season games in 2009-10 before adding 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 16 playoff games.
Kruger, 20, ranked second on Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Elite League with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 38 regular-season games in 2009-10 before adding 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 16 playoff tilts. He was fifth round selection in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Kruger finished as a finalist for the league’s rookie of the year award.