June 26: Finally official, Borgstrom has signed a two-year deal with HV71, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent by the time any NHL team has another shot at him.
May 3: After seeing action in just one NHL game this season, it seemed like there was a good chance that Capitals center Henrik Borgstrom would be looking to go elsewhere for 2023-24. Rather than wait to see if he’d be tendered by Washington, it appears that Borgstrom has found his next team as SportExpressen’s Johan Svensson reports that the middleman is expected to play for HV71 in Sweden next season.
The 25-year-old returned to North America in 2021-22, signing a two-year deal with Chicago. However, after struggling in 52 contests with them, the Blackhawks opted to buy out the final year of that deal, making him an unrestricted free agent. Borgstrom quickly signed with the Capitals, hoping to push for a spot at the bottom of their roster.
That didn’t exactly happen. Instead, Borgstrom cleared waivers before the start of the season and spent almost the entire year with AHL Hershey. He wasn’t overly productive with them either, picking up eight goals and 13 assists in 55 games, hardly the type of impact he was hoping to have. That resulted in him getting just a single recall at the end of the season, playing in Washington’s penultimate contest where he was limited to just over eight minutes of playing time.
Borgstrom, who has 111 career NHL appearances under his belt, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and Washington could have his rights for two more years if they qualify him. At this point, the term of the agreement will likely dictate what the Capitals do. If it’s a multi-year pact, he’ll be an NHL free agent by the time it expires, meaning there’s little point in qualifying him. But if it’s a one-year agreement, it would make some sense to tender that offer just in case he has a breakout year that would get him back on the NHL radar.