It’s not often that a player becomes a full-time NHLer for the first time at a young age, only to immediately go overseas to continue his career. But that’s what has happened with Jonathan Dahlen, who has signed a five-year contract with Timra IK in the SHL, the club team that developed him.
The 24-year-old forward played in 61 games with the San Jose Sharks last season, scoring 12 goals and 22 points but will return to the club he captained in 2020-21 and has twice helped reach the SHL level. In European hockey there is a relegation/promotion system, and Timra has bounced back and forth between the SHL and the Allsvenskan over the last few years.
Dahlen, who has played in the Timra system since 2014, helped them to promotions in 2018 and 2021 but has never actually played in the SHL.
Perhaps his desire to return home was part of the reason why the Sharks decided not to qualify him his summer – a possible arbitration award another potential explanation – as a five-year deal would have allowed his RFA rights to expire anyway.
An unrestricted free agent again when this deal expires, Dahlen will be an interesting name to keep an eye on down the road, as he will still be only 29.