After the New Jersey Devils placed Yaroslav Dyblenko on unconditional waivers earlier this month, the expectation was that he would return to the KHL. That expectation is now reality, as his agent Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey tweets out a congratulations on signing with SKA St. Petersburg. If nothing else, his foray into the North American circuit for a year improved his stock in Russia, as Dyblenko will now play for one of the league’s powerhouses.
Dyblenko never worked out in New Jersey, and ended up playing 54 games for the AHL Binghamton Devils instead. The 24-year old defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent again after his deal with SKA runs out, meaning we could see him back in North America at some point. That likely will only happen if a team can guarantee him an NHL job, something he’ll need to earn playing with his new club.
- Petter Granberg is heading back to Sweden, signing a three-year deal with Skelleftea of the SHL. The former Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators defenseman was scheduled to become a Group VI unrestricted free agent this summer after spending the entire year in the minor leagues. Granberg, selected in the fourth round back in 2010, looked like he was developing into a solid third pairing player at one point. That still might come, but we won’t be seeing him back in the NHL for the next few seasons.
- Another Swedish defenseman is heading home, as Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Lukas Bengtsson has signed a three-year contract with Linkoping. Bengtsson was scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer, and still hadn’t cracked the NHL lineup. Signing as an undrafted free agent with Pittsburgh in 2016, the 24-year old undersized defenseman recorded 15 points in 37 games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this season, but didn’t look to be in the long-term plans at any point.