CBS Sports is reporting that former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Dahlstrom is returning to his native Sweden for next season. Dahlstrom, who also played with the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets has apparently signed a contract with Farjestad BK of the SHL after splitting the last five years between the NHL and AHL.
The 28-year-old Dahlstrom suffered an unfortunate shoulder injury this past September while he was competing for one of the final spots in the Leafs lineup. The ailment likely cost him a job on Toronto’s backend as Dalhstrom had to endure a six-month recovery after shoulder surgery and managed to work his way into eight AHL games with the Toronto Marlies tallying one assist. He was never able to get back into an NHL lineup and may have seen his run in North America come to an end. If this closes the book on his NHL career it has to be a disappointment for a player who was traded for Paul Stastny just a few short years ago.
Over parts of four seasons the former Blackhawks second round pick never scored an NHL goal but did have 12 assists in 67 games. He struggled with the puck on his stick and could never really find any offensive traction while in the NHL. He did fare better in the AHL and could easily secure a job in another organization but at this point in his career he has opted for the comforts of home.
While its always possible that a player in his 20’s could return to the NHL it seems unlikely given Dahlstrom’s injury history and the fact that he hasn’t been able to establish himself as an NHL regular up to this point in his career.