Senators goaltending prospect Marcus Hogberg is attracting overseas interest, reports Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. The 24-year-old is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer with salary arbitration eligibility.
Hogberg has spent time at the NHL, AHL, and ECHL levels this season. He held his own in four games with Ottawa when Craig Anderson was injured but has played extremely well with AHL Belleville, posting a 2.29 GAA and a .917 SV% in 35 contests.
However, finding playing time for him could be a challenge next year. Filip Gustavsson, acquired from Pittsburgh last season, is viewed as a potential goalie of the future while the recently-signed Joey Daccord will be in his first full professional season as well. Mike Condon is expected to be healthy for next season but given how he played this year, he’s a candidate to be waived and sent to the minors as well. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for Hogberg.
While it’s possible that Hogberg could be in the mix to be the backup behind Anderson, it’s hard to imagine that the Sens would choose to go with someone that has just four NHL games under his belt as the undisputed number two. Anders Nilsson has played fairly well since being acquired in early January and there’s a good chance Ottawa will look to bring him back for next season.
When players choose to leave North America and head overseas, it’s often viewed as a negative for their NHL aspirations. Hogberg, should he choose to do so, may wind up being one of the exceptions as it may be the best path for him to get meaningful playing time for the 2019-20 season.