August 23: Johan Svensson and Jennifer Engstrom of Expressen report that Skellefteå is set to terminate their agreement with Agostino just days after signing him. The club had come under criticism in Swedish circles for pursuing a player who’d spent the last two seasons playing in Russia.
Agostino, a veteran of 86 NHL games across six seasons, hasn’t played in North America since 2021 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The 31-year-old has spent the last two seasons in Russia with the KHL’s Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, where he’s recorded 24 goals, 27 assists and 51 points in 75 games. Most of that offensive production came in 2021-22, however, when he produced at a point-per-game clip. 2022-23 was a tough year for Agostino as he dealt with injuries and inconsistency, scoring just four goals in 29 games.
There likely would have been a spot for Agostino in many NHL organizations had he wanted to return this summer despite last season’s poor performance. He’s been a solid pinch hitter at the NHL level with strong minor-league production, posting 317 points in 348 career AHL games. Despite the limited major-league action, Agostino’s production has been fine for a bottom-six call-up – 30 points across those 86 games with the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, and Maple Leafs.
Opting to stay in Europe this summer could very well be an indication Agostino intends to spend the rest of his career there. It’s been quite the journey so far for the 2010 fifth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, earning true journeyman status since finishing his collegiate career at Yale in 2014. It wasn’t too long ago Agostino was viewed as one of the more reliable scoring talents outside of the NHL, as he was named to the United States roster for the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.
Agostino joins a Skellefteå roster that includes Detroit Red Wings 2023 first-round pick defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka, as well as a trio of former Swedish NHL forwards – Oscar Lindberg, Pär Lindholm and Oscar Moller.