The Dallas Stars have convinced an interesting player to come back to North America, signing Fredrik Olofsson to a one-year, $750K contract for the 2022-23 season. Olofsson has played the last two seasons with Oskarshamn IK in the Swedish Hockey League.
Originally selected 98th overall in 2014 by the Chicago Blackhawks, Olofsson is an interesting case of a Swedish forward that spent his most important developmental years in the U.S. After playing minor hockey with the Colorado Thunderbirds, he spent parts of three seasons in the USHL and then all four years of his college eligibility at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. After he graduated, Olofsson failed to reach an agreement with the Blackhawks on an NHL contract, so his rights expired in the summer of 2019.
That’s when he returned to Sweden to play with the famed MODO program, which had been relegated to the second tier. In his first year back in Sweden he racked up 34 points in 52 games, and earned himself a chance at the SHL level. Now, after two strong years with Oskarshamn–and an appearance at the Olympics–he’s finally getting that NHL contract.
In 49 games this season, Olofsson–who is the brother of Charlotte Checkers defenseman Gustav Olofsson–scored 42 points. He’ll now get a chance to prove himself at the professional level back in North America, though there’s obviously still a long road ahead of him before he makes that kind of impact. As a waiver-exempt player, he can be sent to the minor leagues at any time, making it more difficult for him to crack the Stars roster out of camp. Still, with only two games of AHL experience under his belt, some time with the Texas Stars may not be a bad thing.