Joel Kellman finally made the jump to North America this season, but now he’s headed back to Sweden. Well, at least for the time being. The San Jose Sharks’ rookie forward has officially been loaned to Kristianstads IK of the Allsvenskan, the team reports, but he will return to San Jose when NHL training camp opens. Kristianstads is the farm team of the SHL’s Karlskrona HK, Kellman’s hometown team who he played parts of five seasons for earlier in his career.
Kellman, 26, just signed a two-year extension with the Sharks late last month after a promising first season. He played the majority of his games with the Sharks, recording seven points in 31 games, but when he did play for the AHL Barracuda produced 16 points in 25 games. A perennial 30+ point scorer in the SHL, Kellman does have room to improve, and at a $750K AAV the Sharks have every reason to give him the opportunity to do so.
Whether Kellman does in fact play for Kristianstads or instead plays up with Karlskrona, he should be well-prepared to battle for a regular role with San Jose next season. Playing in the Allsvenskan, Kellman would have a major leg up on his teammates and competition. In the SHL, Kellman would have the added advantage of tough competition and would also enjoy playing with top 2020 NHL Draft prospects Ridly Greig and Connor McClennon. Either way, the former Swedish standout will fit in well back home and will be ready to go for the Sharks when the new league year begins.