The Pittsburgh Penguins organization ended up only getting 16 games out of John Nyberg. The defensive prospect has signed a two-year deal with Brynas, returning to the SHL after his short stint in North America. Nyberg arrived in the Pittsburgh organization in a midseason trade with the Dallas Stars, but his entry-level deal is up and he won’t be signing a new one.
Originally selected in the sixth round by the Stars in 2014, Nyberg didn’t even come over to join their minor league program until 2018. Once there, the 6’3″ defenseman struggled to contribute much offense and even spent some time in the ECHL. He was sent to Pittsburgh in exchange for Oula Palve, who is also headed back to Sweden for the 2020-21 season.
As several reporters including Murat Ates of The Athletic discussed on Twitter yesterday, the lack of a concrete plan for the 2020-21 AHL season could force some players back overseas in order to land job security. Without a clear path to the NHL club a player like Nyberg may have more opportunity playing in his home country, given that the AHL season may be extremely truncated due to a lack of ticket sales.
If the Penguins wish to retain his exclusive rights temporarily, they can issue Nyberg a qualifying offer after the season ends.