With just over a month remaining until puck drop on the new season, this past week saw plenty of player movement. However, most of the movement this week involved players departing the league and just a few joining it.
This week saw the departure of 7 players from the SHL, however some are still going to be playing in Sweden.
Both Linus Nässén and Niclas Lundgren have signed with Jukurit in Liiga in Finland. Neither player found much success with their respective SHL teams this season as both managed to tally just three assists over the past year
Four players this week agreed to terms with clubs in HockeyAllsvenskan, including three from Timrå. Hugo Reinhardt and Alexander Lindelöf will be joining Tingsryd and Jakob Ragnarsson has signed with Almtuna. Despite the fact that he was only able to play 26 games this past season, Lindelof scored 6 goals and added an additional 8 asssists. Reinhardt struggled at center with just 5 goals and 3 assists in 51 games and Ragnarsson tallied a goal and 4 assists from the blue line in 43 games played. The fourth player to move from the SHL to HockeyAllsvenskan this week was Emil Wahlberg. The 31 year old was previously loaned from Oskarshamn to Västervik but has now signed with MODO for the new season.
A pair of Canadians have chosen to leave the league and the country this past week, with one signing an NHL contract. Brendan Gaunce has signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets and will start the season with their AHL affiliate The Cleveland Monsters. Gaunce's only taste of Swedish hockey this past season was short lived as he played just 18 games in the regular season, scoring 5 goals and 7 assists. He also helped the Lakers win their second LeMat trophy in the past 4 seasons with 3 goals and 4 assists in the post season.
The second Canadian to be leaving the league this week is Quinton Howden, who leaves the Malmö Redhawks for Kölner Haie in the German League. Just like Gaunce, his only season of Swedish hockey was short lived as he had just 11 games played this past season, with 3 assists.
New Players to the League
There were just two players to join the league this week and both will be getting their first experience in the SHL.
Patrick Russell has signed with Linköping from the Edmonton Oilers. The 28 year old Dane has previously played with the Linköping junior clubs before moving to North America. In North America Russell played in the USHL, NCAA and played the majority of his professional career with Edmontons AHL Affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors. During his time with the LHC J18 and J20 teams, Russell played under current head coach Klas Östman and credits him for being one of the reason he decided to return to the club.
"He knows who I am, how I play and how I am as a person and I know who he is. I've had good seasons under him before, so it feels good to try it again and see how it goes."
The final player to make move to league this season is a young Finnish goaltender who has signed with Brynäs. Veini Vehviläinen had a bit of a rollercoaster of a season this past year as he started the year with JYP in Liiga before being recalled by the Columbus Blue Jackets where he saw action in just a single game. He also had just one game played with their AHL affiliate before being traded to the Toronto Marlies where he had four games played. Despite his struggles this past season, the young goaltender seems excited about his opportunity in Sweden.
"I was stuck in North America without a real opportunity to show my potential at NHL level so it felt great when Brynäs showed interest in me. I have heard that Gävle is a very passionate hockey city and that there is a winning tradition in the club"