Rumored all month to be considering a return to Sweden, Jacob Josefson is heading home. The Buffalo Sabres forward and pending unrestricted free agent has signed a four-year contract with Djurgarden of the SHL, leaving North America after eight years in the NHL.
Josefson came to the Sabres through free agency after going unqualified by the New Jersey Devils last summer, and just wasn’t able to put it together. A first-round pick from 2009, he never fulfilled his promise of a two-way center capable of playing tough minutes. Instead, Josefson struggled to find a full-time role in the NHL, playing in more than 60 games just once in eight seasons. With 64 points in 315 games, there was a good chance he’d go without a one-way contract offer this summer.
The Sabres have several other unrestricted free agents to make decisions on in the coming weeks, with Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, Josh Gorges, Justin Falk and Chad Johnson all set to hit the open market. It’s quite possible that none of the group is back next year, as the team looks to younger players to fill the gaps in the roster. The team certainly has enough cap room to make a big splash if they so choose, with nearly $25MM of space depending on where the cap ceiling lands. Should they land the first-overall pick tomorrow night, perhaps they will attempt to kickstart their contention by adding some support for Jack Eichel and company on July 1st.