As seasons continue to come to a close in Europe, moves are being made that have NHL ramifications. Some hint toward a player making the jump to North America, while others cement the opposite, and still even more remain ambiguous. Today in particular, a number of NHL prospects have left their current clubs, opening up possibilities for what move may come next:
- Los Angeles Kings prospect forward Martin Chromiak isn’t leaving anyone guessing. The 2020 pick has spent this season at home in Slovakia, but played in the OHL last year and has now returned to North American in short order with his season over. The AHL’s Ontario Reign, affiliate of the Kings, have signed Chromiak to an amateur tryout agreement for the remainder of the season, reports L.A. beat writer John Hoven. This could potentially lead to an entry-level deal for next season for Chromiak or could simply be the first step toward returning to the OHL or perhaps even the AHL next season. Either way, things are looking up for Chromiak, who unfortunately is most well-known right now for his precipitous drop in the 2020 NHL Draft. A near-consensus second-round pick entering the draft, NHL teams clearly disagreed with the draft pundits on Chromiak, who fell to L.A. in the fifth round. Now with a chip on his shoulder and a nice Slovakian season behind him, Chromiak is ready to prove himself in North America.
- Two Dallas Stars prospects could be on their way to North America shortly as well. Following their loss in the SHL quarterfinals, Farjestad BK has announced the departures of a number of players. Among them were the Stars’ 2018 and 2019 third-round picks, Oskar Back and Albin Eriksson. Both are big, strong, well-rounded forwards with several years of SHL experience and seem likely to be looking for a new challenge. Farjestad did not state definitively that the duo were set to sign their NHL entry-level contracts, but it is a safe assumption. More uncertain is what the next move might be for defenseman Linus Arnesson, who was also among the list of departures. Arnesson, 26, is still property of the Boston Bruins, who selected him in the second round in 2013. Arnesson spent a few seasons in the AHL early in his career before returning home to Sweden, but may be looking for a second chance after improved play in the SHL over the past four years. He may also just be looking to capitalize as a free agent in Sweden.
- It was not all bad news out of Farjestad, as they did announce a new three-year extension with former Chicago Blackhawk Victor Ejdsell. The hulking center never quite did find his place in North America, but has been very productive for Farjestad over the past two years. At 25, a three-year deal does not eliminate the chances that Ejdsell could make an NHL comeback, but it does become more unlikely. A native of Karlstad, where Farjestad plays, Ejdsell called the team his “home” in the press release and may be committed long-term to the club.
- Two coveted young players are leaving Swedish second-tier club MODO, but it is unclear what is next for either one. MODO has announced that William Wallinder and William Stromgren will not return to the team next season. Wallinder was the first pick in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft, going No. 32 overall to the Detroit Red Wings. A big, but smooth-skating defender who played a major role for MODO as a teenager, Wallinder may already be prepared for the North American pros. Stromgren is a 2021 draft-eligible prospect with a similar late-first/early-second draft stock to Wallinder. The big sniper is more likely than Wallinder to stay in Sweden for another year or two, but could also be tempted to play in the CHL next season. The team who selects him in the upcoming draft will have a say as well.