Defenseman Adam Clendening’s four games with the Blackhawks earlier this season turned out to be his last.
Late Thursday, the Hawks dealt Clendening to the Vancouver Canucks for defenseman Gustav Forsling. Forsling, 18, has five points in 35 games for Sweden’s Linkoping and also made a mark at the 2015 World Junior Championships for Sweden. A Canucks’ fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft, Forsling had eight points in seven games, was named a tournament all-star and caught the eye of Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.
“We are excited to add Gustav to a strong group of young talent in our organization,” Bowman said in a news release. “He was one of the best players at the World Junior Championships a few weeks ago and this season has emerged as a regular contributor in the top professional league in Sweden. He’s an offensive defenseman that plays very well on the power play and has a big shot.”
Some of the same could be said about Clendening, who was once one of the Hawks’ top defensive prospects but seemed to slip down the pecking order as this season wore on.
Clendening, 22, made his debut Nov. 20 with the Hawks and had played 185 times for the IceHogs. A second-round pick in the 2011 draft, Clendening had 13 points in 38 games this season for Rockford, which leads the AHL’s Midwest Division.
In those four NHL games he had a goal and an assist.
“I think what their message was, was just kind of keep doing what I’m doing. I know they wanted to give some other guys a look. They didn’t really tell me there was anything drastic missing from my game. Obviously, just work on my defending,” Clendening told the Sun-Times in early January. “That’s a big thing for them up there just in general, their whole team. The quicker they defend and get the puck back, the stronger their team is when they have the puck. That’s the message sent to everybody.”