Just as NHL teams have started to snap up European free agents to join them for next season, some North American players will also start heading overseas despite not technically being free agents yet. Many fringe players who are heading towards free agency will have spoken to their team and know whether or not they have a chance to re-sign, giving them some advance notice in order to find a job for 2019-20. There’s also the case of NHL prospects re-upping with their international clubs, instead of coming to North America just yet. Here are some notes from overseas:
- John Ramage is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this season after spending 2018-19 with the Binghamton Devils, but instead of re-signing with the New Jersey organization he’s headed to Germany to play in the DEL. Ramage signed a two-year deal with Berlin, ending his run in North America for the time being. The 28-year old defenseman has won at nearly every level, taking home gold medals at the U18 and U20 World Juniors and championships in both the ECHL and AHL levels.
- Arvid Holm was selected in the sixth round by the Winnipeg Jets in 2017, but isn’t yet ready to make the trip overseas. Holm has signed a one-year deal with Farjestad in the SHL in order to continue his development in Sweden. The 6’4″ goaltender put up a .907 save percentage in the Swedish second league last season, but may get a chance at the highest level in 2019-20.
- Jesper Lindgren has done the opposite, coming to North America now that his season has ended in Finland. The Toronto Maple Leafs have assigned Lindgren to the AHL after he took home the Liiga championship with HPK. The right-handed defenseman is just 21, but already signed his entry-level contract last spring. The right-handed defenseman is another prospect they hope can develop and help out the NHL defense down the road, but he needs some more development time in the minor leagues.