Although 700-game NHL veteran Tyler Ennis was linked to a return to the North American pro circuit after a season spent in Switzerland, a true NHL opportunity never materialized for the 34-year-old forward.
Now, rather than try his luck in North America, Ennis has decided to play another season in Europe. Per a team announcement, Ennis has signed a one-year contract with Adler Mannheim of the German DEL. In Mannheim, Ennis will join with other former NHLers such as Jyrki Jokipakka, Tom Kühnhackl, and Linden Vey.
Having just turned 34 years old, it’s not unreasonable to think Ennis may have merited a chance to compete for an NHL job in training camp and preseason. He had a strong first full season in Europe, scoring 13 goals and 33 points for SC Bern in the Swiss National League.
Ennis has three 20-goal NHL seasons on his resume, although he struggled to the tune of just 24 points in 57 games in his most recent NHL campaign.
Instead of the NHL, Ennis joins a Mannheim team currently sitting second in the DEL standings with a 9-2-1 record. But although the club has had a stellar start, they rank outside the league’s top five in terms of goals scored, so perhaps that motivated club management to add some external offensive reinforcement.
That’s exactly what Ennis is capable of providing. While he’s likely disappointed to not receive the NHL shot he was linked to in September, he has a chance to spend this season as a genuine star forward for one of the best teams in German hockey.