By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)
After back-to-back championship seasons with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League, free-agent defenseman Johan Alm has signed a two-year deal with the Nashville Predators.
Alm, 22, had “bids from a dozen clubs” according to a report from Norran.se, but chose to sign the rookie contract with the Predators, accomplishing what he calls his, “boyhood dream.” Over the last two seasons, the defensive-minded defenseman has suited up in 85 regular season contests for AIK, and put up four goals and 11 assists.
Coming to North America for the first time in his career, Alm told Norran.se that he felt Nashville was the right fit for him, but understands the possibility that he’ll be playing in Milwaukee on opening night next season.
While Alm could certainly come over and help the Predators D corps right away — if not as an every-night player, than as an injury replacement — it’s safe to say that the organization will give him a chance to adjust to the smaller surface and hone his game in the American Hockey League.
Alm said leaving AIK is sad, but that he feels ready to make the jump to the National Hockey League.
Scott Ford, a former captain of the Milwaukee Admirals, is back with the club for 2013-14.
Ford, who started last season captaining the Peoria Rivermen, is back with the team where he’s spent the bulk of his career. Before landing with Peoria last season, Ford spent four years in Milwaukee. After a trade brought him back to the Nashville organization late last season, Ford suited up for 25 games with the Ads, putting up an one assist over that time.
At 6’3″ and 225 lbs., the 33-year-old British Columbia native, made it to the pro ranks via the ECHL, spending seasons in Fresno, Trenton, Dayton, and Utah before becoming an AHL regular.
In his AHL career, Ford has suited up for 480 games, tallying 15 goals and 45 assists. Over that stretch, Ford’s also racked up 705 PIM.
Ford’s deal is for one-year.
Matt Halischuk, who spent last season with the Nasvhille Predators, has signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Winnipeg Jets.
At 25 years old, Halischuk has spent the last two seasons as an everyday NHL player, but his contract with the Jets may see him suit up for a few contests with the IceCaps.
In his career, Halischuk has suited up for 118 AHL games, registering 77 points (38-39) over that time. In two Calder Cup playoff games, he’s also scored one goal and one assist.
While playing in the NHL — 136 of his 157 games were played with the Nashville Predators — Halischuk has scored 25 goals and 29 assists, and suited up for 17 playoff games and tallied two goals and an assist. A defensive winger, Halischuk will likely bring his game to the NHL come 2012-13, but his contributions surely wouldn’t be missed on what was nearly the last place team in the entire AHL last year.