Edmonton restricted free agent defenseman William Lagesson has signed a contract, but not with the Oilers. Lagesson has inked a one-year contract with HC Vita Hasten of the Allsvenskan, the Swedish second tier league. The team announced the contract and emphasized that the deal covered the entire 2020-21 season, but don’t expect the promising young defender to follow through on that commitment. PuckPedia reports that the contract contains an NHL Out Clause, allowing Lagesson to leave Vita Hasten once the NHL season begins, assuming he has a contract. By all accounts, the Oilers are planning to re-sign the 24-year-old RFA, who played in eight games in Edmonton last season. A standout in the Swedish junior ranks and at the University of Massachusetts, Lagesson doesn’t project as a top-four defenseman for the Oilers, but is a valuable, two-way depth option. Expect Lagesson’s contract with Vita Hasten to essentially act as a loan, with the defenseman in Edmonton camp as soon as it opens.
- Long-time Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul left North America last off-season to sign with the KHL’s Chinese contingent, the Kunlun Red Star. The puck-moving defenseman had a strong season and was seeking a contract back home this summer, but has now opted to return to Kunlun. The Red Star announced a new one-year deal with Sproul, retaining yet another of their numerous former NHLers. Playing on a roster that is chock full of fellow North Americans, Sproul will continue to play a familiar style alongside his peers, all in the hopes that another good year can earn him more attention among NHL clubs the next time around.
- Former NHL grinder Andreas Martinsen is headed home. The big forward has signed a one-year deal back in his native Norway with Lillehammer, the team with which he has played the most games in his pro career. Lillehammer was excited to announce the homecoming of the iconic Norweigian forward, who is one of just five from his country to play in 100+ NHL games. Martinsen, who last played in the NHL in 2018-19, spent the first half of this past season in the AHL before departing for the Swiss NLA. At 30, it is unclear if Martinsen’s return to Norway could mark a retirement phase of his career or if he is simply most comfortable back home given the many repercussions of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
- The Boston Bruins have loaned prospect forward Joona Koppanen to KOOVEE of the Finnish minor league Metsis, the team announced. As the press release details, Koppanen’s opportunity has been limited in North America, which begs the question whether this loan could extend beyond NHL training camp unlike most others. Koppanen, a 6’5″, 200-lb. forward who plays center and wing, showed improvement in his second full season in North America in 2019-20, recording 18 points in 43 games with AHL Providence. Yet, he was not a full-time player and saw time in the ECHL for the second straight season. With the 2016 fifth-rounder’s entry-level contract expiring after the coming season, the Bruins may prefer to see how Koppanen performs as a top-line forward in the Metsis rather than a part-time bottom-six forward in the AHL.