Ed Note: This article was written approximately 17 hours before the Winnipeg Jets officially confirmed the report. The signing is official now though.
The following comment was also made by Swedish Axel's agent:
The Tweet offers congratulations on the signing of a contract with Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg Jets have yet to offer an official comment on the report. That said, the new source is a major Swedish news site and Ryman's comments would be very odd - and potentially damaging - if they are inaccurate.
Another interesting tid bit of info is that yesterday was the Jets last chance to sign the un-drafted training camp invitee. Once the regular season gets underway, un-drafted players like Axel are officially off the market and forced to set their targets on next year's NHL draft.
Again, there has been nothing official from the team and nobody has stepped forth to corroborate the report, so take it for what it is. We will offer an update as we learn more.
What kind of prospect is Axel Blomqvist?
Blomqvist is a mountain of a man at 18 years old. Measuring in at 6'6 and 213 pounds, Axel is a big body who actually moves fairly well given his size. Still, he needs to work on his footwork and in all likelihood will be able to fill out his frame a little further. He also has to find some consistency in his offensive game.
Zenon Herasymiuk of Future Consideration had the following to say about Blomqvist:
"His biggest asset is his gigantic frame," Herasymiuk said. "He is willing and able to throw the body around and isn’t afraid to mix things up in the high traffic areas of the ice. With his mix of size and smarts, Blomqvist could be a sleeper for the 2013 NHL Draft."
How does he project long term?
That is really hard to say. If Axel was a sure thing he wouldn't have gone undrafted to begin with, but Kevin Cheveldayoff and company ave obviously seen something they like IF they have indeed signed him to an ELC. Perhaps they think his game will grow significantly or perhaps his size alone justified them taking a flyer on him.
Here are his stats:
A list of draft eligible WHL prospects prior to the 2013 draft: http://whlthoughts.blogspot.ca/2012/11/whl-top-30-2013-draft-prospects-at.html
A profile on Blomqvist written prior the the 2013 draft: http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2013/6/28/4459108/axel-blomqvist-2013-nhl-draft-prospect-profile
A profile on Axel from the Winnipeg Free Press during rookie camp: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/hockey/jets/at-6-6-blomqvist-a-big-project-223798991.html
Happy hockey day people!