April 21: The Rangers have officially announced the deal.
April 20: Another night, another signing by the New York Rangers, who continue to look ahead to next year despite still chasing down a playoff spot in the East Division this year. This time, they have come to terms with a top prospect to his entry-level contract. CapFriendly reports that the Rangers are set to sign forward Karl Henriksson to a three-year ECL, beginning in 2021-22, that carries an AAV of $870K. The breakdown of the contract is as follows:
2021-22: $750K base salary + 92.5K signing bonus + $82.5K games played bonus
2022-23: $750K base salary + 92.5K signing bonus + $82.5K games played bonus
2023-24: $832.5K base salary + 92.5K signing bonus
Henriksson, 20, was the Rangers’ second-round pick in 2019 out of the SHL’s Frolunda HC. A 200-foot center with great vision and play-making ability, Henriksson has continued to impress even in limited minutes as Sweden’s top level. He also was a late exclusion from Sweden’s World Juniors roster this year due to COVID-19 protocols. Regardless, New York has seen enough to ink the young pivot and see what he can do in North America.
Henriksson is yet another promising young prospect for the Rangers, but could be one of the more important names in the system due to his position. While the Blueshirts have lucked into elite prospect wingers in Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere over the past two seasons and have tremendous youthful talent on the blue line and in goal, but center is the one critical area of need. Henriksson perhaps represents New York’s best hope of finding a top-six center internally among their current prospects. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a young player who will be making his first trip to North America, but they hope that the Swedish standout can answer the call.