Roblin, Manitoba’s Jayce Hawryluk has officially signed a contract for the 2021-22 hockey season with Skellefteå AIK of the Swedish Hockey League.
The 25-year-old former Brandon Wheat Kings forward suited up in 30 games for the Vancouver Canucks last season, but was not presented with a qualifying offer from the club, making him an unrestricted free agent. Through free agency, Hawryluk explored many options and ultimately chose to travel overseas to join Skellefteå in Sweden on a one-year deal.
“I’m super pumped; it’s a place I’ve never visited so I’m really looking forward to getting there,” Hawryluk said in a team-issued release. “I’ve only heard good things about the organization and about the team so that made the decision easy. So we look forward to it, me and my girlfriend. It will be a completely new experience so it will be lots of fun.”
Having suiting up in 98 NHL contests with the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks, Hawryluk has 12 goals and 27 points to his name. In 148 American Hockey League contests, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward has accrued 27 goals and 95 points.
“I have played professionally for five years now and wherever you play, you gather new experiences that you can take with you and apply to your upcoming challenges,” Hawryluk added. “I have gained a lot of experience which I now take with me and look forward with the plan to continue playing and developing my game.”
The right-handed shooting Hawryluk is comfortable at both centre and wing, positions to which he has played over the course of his career that saw its beginnings with four seasons of WHL play with the Wheat Kings.
“I want to show my knowledge, just go out, play hard, enjoy it and most of all win,” he said. “That is my main goal this season, to win with Skellefteå. If we can achieve that, I am convinced that personal development will come with the journey. You just have to be focused and work hard together towards the set goal.”
Hawryluk will travel to Sweden this coming week in preparation for the 2021-22 season. Geographically, Skellefteå is second-most northern club in the 14-team league. The team went 32-15-5 in 52 games last season, finishing fourth in the regular season, before losing out in the semifinal.
According to the team’s general manager Erik Forssell, signing Hawryluk was a huge step towards a successful 2021-22 campaign.
“It feels great to finish with Jayce,” he said of the completed contract. “He is a good all-round player who we think masters many parts of the game. He’s shown in the AHL that he can be a productive offensive player, but also has many good defensive qualities. He will be useful to us in many ways.”