Left winger Kris Versteeg has officially signed in the NLA, inking a one year deal with SC Bern on Monday, the Swiss team announced. (Link in German.) TSN’s Darren Dreger reported earlier this month that a deal with Bern was close. Bern wasn’t the only Swiss team that was interested in signing Versteeg as HC Biel was also reported to have been in contact with him early in free agency.
Last season, he played in 77 regular season games split between Carolina and Los Angeles (after being added as a trade deadline acquisition), collecting 15 goals and 23 assists while averaging 15:23 per contest. As a result, it’s somewhat surprising that Versteeg wasn’t able to secure an NHL contract as 38 points is lower end second line production and with teams always looking to add offensive help, it was expected that he’d have had NHL suitors. We him ranked 34th on our Top 50 UFA list.
Versteeg has played in 550 games for six different teams over his NHL career. In that span, he has 131 goals and 182 assists. At just 30 years of age, it’s not inconceivable to think that he could return to the NHL for 2017-18 if he has a productive year in the Swiss league.