Blackhawks sign forward Jakub Pour, continuing European pipeline

Blackhawks sign forward Jakub Pour, continuing European pipeline

The Blackhawks added another depth forward Tuesday in 22-year-old Jakub Pour. | AP Photos

Pour, 22, joins Dominik Kubalik, Pius Suter, Matej Chalupa and numerous other European free agents to sign with the Hawks in recent years.

European free agents keep pouring into the Blackhawks organization.

Jakub Pour, a 22-year-old Czech forward, became the Hawks’ latest import when he signed a two-year entry-level contract Tuesday. The contract carries a modest $842,500 cap hit.

Pour had played his entire career until now in the Czech Republic with the HC Plzen organization, where he was teammates and friends with Dominik Kubalik.

Pour tallied 16 points (including 12 goals) in 48 games this past season in Plzen, production not quite comparable to Kubalik — who averaged nearly a point per game his last three seasons there — but good enough to receive NHL interest.

“Ever since Dominik Kubalík started playing for the Blackhawks, I have been following the club in great detail,” Pour said in a statement. “In Chicago, I will do my best to fulfill my dream of playing in the NHL. I believe it will be sooner than later, but I will be patient. Whether the chance comes after a month or in the second year of the contract, I have to be prepared.”

Pour will likely start next season with Rockford in the AHL before working his way up the depth chart. Matej Chalupa, another young Czech forward who signed with the Hawks last summer in similar circumstances, spent all of 2021 in Rockford and recorded seven points in 27 games.

For the Hawks, the signing represents the continued strengthening of their pipeline from the European pro leagues, from which they’ve pulled many undrafted, relatively unknown players across the Atlantic in recent years.

The list of success stories includes Kubalik, Pius Suter, Artemi Panarin, David Kampf, Dominik Kahun, Michal Kempny and Erik Gustafsson, among others, and the Hawks have already dipped into it twice — for Pour and Swedish goalie Arvid Soderblom — again so far this offseason.