Niklas Hjalmarsson, who is originally from Eksjo, Sweden, was drafted 108th overall in the fourth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He played in numerous Swedish leagues with HV 71, including three seasons with the Swedish Elite League. He then signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks and spent most of the 2007-08 season with their AHL team, the Rockford IceHogs. He also played 13 games with Chicago and recorded his first NHL point with an assist on March 23, 2008 against the St. Louis Blues. He scored his first NHL goal the following season on April 11, 2009 against Ty Conklin of the Detroit Red Wings. He then appeared in all 17 post-season games with Chicago until they were eliminated in the Western Conference finals by the Detroit Red Wings. In international hockey, he represented Sweden at the 2005 World Under-18 Championships (bronze medal) and the 2007 World Junior Championships. At 6’2 and around 200 pounds, Hjalmarsson is a defenseman who can log a lot of ice time, especially on the penalty kill.