ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs’ player tracker for the 2019 offseason features four players signing overseas as of June of the offseason. Forwards Victor Ejdsell, Peter Holland, Jordan Schroeder and Brett Welychka have each inked a deal to continue their respective careers outside of Rockford for the 2019-20 campaign.
Ejdsell, 24, signed a two-year contract with Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League on May 19. The Karlstad, Sweden native and hero of the IceHogs’ overtime marathon against the Wolves during the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs will skate in the top level of the SHL through the 2020-21 season. Ejdsell originally made his IceHogs debut at the tail end of the 2017-18 season and starred with 12 points (7g, 5a) in 13 postseason games during the Calder Cup Playoffs. He potted four game-winners during his postseason dominance, including netting the decisive marker in triple overtime against Chicago in the series-clinching win on April 26.
Last season, Ejdsell’s production slowed to 29 points (12g, 17a) in 61 games with Rockford. He chipped in four power-play goals and scored the game-winner on Oct. 24 vs. San Antonio.
Holland, 28, signed a two-year contract with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the Kontinental Hockey League on May 23. The Caledon, Ontario native will now officially play in Russia through the 2020-21 season. During his limited time with the IceHogs during the 2018-19 campaign, Holland was a constant on the scoresheet with 16 points (7g, 9a) in 21 contests. He was acquired in exchange for Darren Raddysh on Feb. 18 and debuted with a two-point effort (2a) in his Hogs debut on Feb. 20 at Grand Rapids. The point-producing Holland also later notched Rockford’s longest scoring streak of the campaign with points in six straight games from March 30 – April 9.
Schroeder, 28, signed a one-year contract with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL on May 17. The Lakeville, Minnesota native was a stalwart in Rockford’s lineup last season, leading the team in scoring with a career-high 45 points (19g, 26a) in 73 games. He also led the IceHogs in goals, assists power-play goals, power-play points and shots on goal (185), and posted the second-most multi-point efforts (8) on the campaign. Schroeder’s 45 points eclipsed his previous career-high total in 76 games during the 2011-12 season with the Chicago Wolves. The forward, unfortunately, finished 2018-19 sidelined due to a lower-body injury suffered on April 2 vs. San Antonio.
Welychka, 25, signed a one-year contract with the Esbjerg Energy in Denmark on May 29. The first-year Hogs forward split the 2018-19 campaign between Rockford and Indy, skating in 34 ECHL contests and 18 AHL games. He tallied a season-high three points with the Fuel on Oct. 20 vs. Toledo and later notched a season-best five-game point streak with four goals and one assist from Jan. 4 – 12. Welychka also made his Rockford debut on Nov. 2 at Milwaukee and skated to a +1 rating over his final six AHL contests from Feb. 16 – 26.