The American Hockey League has announced that the 2019-20 AHL regular season will be paused for the safety of its players, employees, and fans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has signed free agent center Fredrik Handemark to an entry-level contract.
"Fredrik is a well-rounded player who can play in all situations and ranks as one of the top faceoff centers in Europe dating back to his time in juniors," said Wilson. "He is a powerful skater with high character and leadership qualities having been the captain for the Malmo Redhawks the past three seasons and has played well the last few years at the National level. We are happy to have him join our organization."
Handemark, 26, skated in 52 games for the Malmo Redhawks in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), recording 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists) with a plus-nine rating. As captain for the Redhawks for the third straight season, Handemark led the SHL in face-off percentage (61.5%) and in total faceoffs taken (1,029), finished tied for seventh in game-winning goals, 10th in points and was tied for 11th in assists.
Prior to the 2019-20 season, Handemark appeared in 49 games for Malmo, registering 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) with a plus-three rating and 91 penalty minutes, which led the SHL. In his time with Malmo dating back to the 2015-16 season, Handemark has never finished a season below a 50% win-rate in the faceoff circle. He has held at least a 60% win-percentage in the faceoff dot for the previous three seasons and led the SHL in 2017-18. In 2018-19, he finished fifth among league skaters. In 329 career SHL games, Handemark has logged 136 points (47 goals, 89 assists) with a 57.3 faceoff win percentage (2,770-for-4,834).
Internationally, he has represented Sweden in the Euro Hockey Tour, appearing in 20 games and scoring 10 points (four goals, six assists). In 2019-20, he led all skaters in the tournament with six points (two goals, four assists) in nine games.
The six-foot-four, 209-pound defenseman is a native of Bjorbo, Sweden.