Yet another NHL prospect has been loaned overseas to begin the 2020-21 season and this time it is a relatively big name in Los Angeles Kings defenseman Tobias Bjornfot. Bjornfot, 19, was a first-round pick in 2019 and jumped immediately to the pro ranks for L.A., spending the whole season in North America. However, he will at least begin next year back home in Sweden. The Kings have announced that Bjornfot has been loaned to Djurgardens IF of the SHL to begin the season. He is expected to rejoin L.A. at some point during the season.
Bjornfot was selected No. 22 overall last year and made the unlikely jump directly to the NHL. He played in three games with the Kings and 44 more with the AHL’s Ontario Reign, where he recorded 19 points and a +13 rating. Bjornfot did not look out of place and will likely be given every chance to break camp with the Kings next year, especially if he excels in the SHL.
Bjornfot should feel right at home with Djurgardens, as he developed in their system for three years before he was drafted and departed to North America. He even played in seven SHL games in 2018-19. Djurgardens is routinely a contender in the SHL, but their roster looks uncharacteristically thin for next season. As a result, Bjornfot should be given every opportunity to play a major role and spend the time that he otherwise would have spent waiting for the NHL season to start instead preparing himself for what he hopes is an impact rookie season.