Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Friday that the hockey club has signed free agent forward Rickard Wallin (pronounced WAHL-ihn, RIH-kahrd) to a one-year contract.
“We’re pleased to get Rickard signed to a contract,” said Burke. “He’s a strong two-way centreman that will provide a solid presence in our dressing room.”
Wallin, a 29-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden, played 55 games this past season for Farjestads in the Swedish Elite League. He led the team in goals (tie-18) and points (45), while adding 27 assists and 56 penalty minutes. The 6-2, 195-pound forward also posted five points (one goal, four assists) and eight penalty minutes in 13 playoff games to help Farjestads capture the 2008-09 Swedish Elite League Championship.
Originally selected by Phoenix in the sixth round, 160th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Wallin was traded to Minnesota in exchange for Joe Juneau on June 23, 2000. In 19 career NHL games from 2002 to 2004 with the Wild, he registered six goals and four assists for 10 points with 14 penalty minutes. Wallin also won a Calder Cup Championship with the AHL’s Houston Aeros in 2002-03.
Internationally, Wallin has represented Sweden three times at the World Championships (2007, 2008 & 2009), collecting eight points (five goals, three assists) and 18 penalty minutes in 27 games. He won a bronze medal with Sweden at the 2009 World Championships in Switzerland.