DRAFTED: who plays in the SHL?
An article in parts by @ABritOnThinIce1
PART 3. Older Swedes on their way back from North America
If we look at the Top 10 points scorers in the SHL, it is not surprising to see that four of those ten are players have been drafted and had experience in North America but then returned to Sweden.
That would include Färjestad BK duo of Johan Ryno and Dick Axelsson and Skellefteå AIK pairing of Joakim Lindström and Oscar Möller.
Ryno and Axelsson, both 31 years old, were drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2005 and 2006 respectively and played circa 10 games for their AHL affiliate, Grand Rapids Griffins, before returning to Europe.
In contrast, 34 year old Lindström and 29 year old Möller had greater success in North America. Lindström (above) was drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002 and Möller by the Los Angeles Kings in 2007 and both had four year periods in the States where they yo-yoed between the AHL and NHL. Both players had good form in the AHL but were unable to produce at the same rate in the higher division, meaning a return to Europe.
Both have flirted with the KHL but seem to have thrived back in the SHL. Lindström has now played more than 400 regular season games in the SHL whereas Möller has just under 200 games, all with current club, Skellefteå AIK. Both continue to excel as goal and assist production and this year collected a second place medal with the team from Västerbotten.
In Part 4 we will look at some Americans and Canadian players who have made the journey to Europe to play in the SHL.