It’s finally time for Anton Lander to go home. The Swedish Olympic captain has signed a three-year contract with Timra IK of the SHL, one that likely ends any chance of him returning to the NHL given his age.
Lander, 30, has had an incredibly varied and interesting career in professional hockey, debuting as a teenager in 2007-08 with Timra. Selected 40th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2009, he came to the NHL in 2011 and almost immediately stepped into a regular role. Over parts of six seasons, he would play 215 games with the Oilers, setting a career-high of 20 points in just 38 games during the 2014-15 campaign.
His contributions to that organization were felt mostly at the AHL level though, where he wore the “C” for two seasons with the Oklahoma City Barons and an “A” in his final year with the Bakersfield Condors. Scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace in the AHL, it was easy to expect success once he decided to go overseas in 2017. In his first season in the KHL he won the Gagarin Cup with Ak Bars Kazan, and represented Sweden at the 2018 Olympics. Three more successful years in Russia followed, before Lander joined EV Zug in Switzerland for the 2021-22 campaign.
He had the honor of wearing that captain’s “C” again at this year’s Games, though Sweden was unable to medal once again. Now, more than a decade after he left, he returns to the Swedish club that developed him. By the end of a three-year deal, Lander will be 33 and eight seasons removed from hockey in North America.