When the Anaheim Ducks decided not to sign Kyle Olson to an entry-level contract by June 2019, his draft rights expired and he became an unrestricted free agent. The fourth-round pick had a brutal post-draft season that saw him score only four goals and miss half the year with a knee injury. He came back the next season and showed what he could do, but it still didn’t work out with the Ducks.
In September of last year, Olson was a standout at the Buffalo Sabres prospect camp and earned himself a non-roster invitation to the main training camp. He was impressive there too, but didn’t sign with the Sabres and instead returned for his overage WHL season. That season, 2019-20, was cut short again, with Olson playing only 30 games total between the Tri-City Americans (where he was captain) and the Calgary Hitmen.
Now, after aging out of junior hockey Olson will try his hand at the professional level. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have signed the 21-year-old forward to an AHL contract and immediately sent him to the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers to join their training camp. With the ECHL season about to begin in a week, Olson can start his minor league career there after he quarantines. Among the players to keep an eye on in the ECHL this year, Olson will be near the top of the list after circumstance—and not work ethic—has knocked him off the NHL prospect track so far.
The Nailers are set to begin their season on December 12 against the Indy Fuel.