He didn’t sign his entry-level contract, but Nico Gross will still be playing professional hockey this season. The New York Rangers draft pick is headed to Switzerland to play for EV Sug of the NLA following a successful OHL career.
The 20-year old Gross was selected 101st overall in 2018 by the Rangers, but since he was coming out of the CHL they owned his exclusive rights for just two years. In June, those rights expired without the team signing him, giving him a chance to re-enter the draft whenever it is held this fall.
In the meantime, a return to Switzerland makes plenty of sense for a player that is still one of the top Swiss-born prospects in the world, especially given the uncertainty of the 2020-21 AHL season.
A member of the Swiss World Junior squad on three different occasions, Gross was a strong two-way presence for the Oshawa Generals, even wearing an “A” as an alternate captain this season. He recorded 33 points in 53 games, and while that may not put him on an NHL track he’s still a name to keep an eye on moving forward.