Weekly Recap: North American Moves

12 juli 2021 15:30

With just a few moves happening this week the majority involve a handful of North American players. Some coming, some going and some returning to the league.


Despite the majority of player movement involving North Americans this week, we'll start with a pair of Swedes who have signed with Luleå.

Linus Omark will be returning to the SHL and his former team for the first time since 2014. The 34 year old left winger has spent the last decade in North America, the KHL and Switzerland, with most of that time being spent in the KHL. He played 401 games in Russias top league tallying an impressive 106 goals and 247 assists with Dynamo Moscow, Jokerit and Salavat Yulaev Ufa. Omark also played 79 games in the NHL with Edmonton and Buffalo.

General Manager Steffan Nilsson says about the addition "We will have a better season than the previous one - both in terms of placement in the regular season and in the Swedish Championship play-offs - which we feel is a reasonable goal. Therefore, it feels great to add a fantastic player like Linus Omark. Everyone knows what he has achieved during his career and it will be extremely fun to work with him again." Omark previously played 3 full seasons with Luleå and was also a meber of their J18 and J20 teams.

The second Swede to sign with Luleå this week is long time SHLer Linus Fröberg. Throughout his career he has registered 46 goals and 105 assists in 363 games played with Brynäs, Färjestad, Växjö and most recently HV71. The 28 year old, originally from Karlstad says "I wanted to play in a top team and be part of challenging for the gold. And it feels like we will be able to do in Luleå next season. The feeling is that there are all the ingredients needed for us to be able to make something really good out of it."

North America

Perhaps one of the more unexpected sigings this weeks comes from Skellefteå who have signed goaltender Strauss Mann. The 22 year old from Greenwich, Connecticut has no previous professional experience and recently finished his time in the NCAA where he played with the University of Michigan. In his NCAA career he posted an impressive 2.14 GAA, a .926 SV% and finished with a record of 35-30-9 in 77 games played. Mann joins veteran Gustaf Lindvall to round out Skellefteås goaltending duo.

The Växjö Lakers will be saying goodbye to their one season wonder Jack Drury who has signed with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes drafted Drury 42nd overall back in 2018 and were clearly impressed with his play this past season. In 41 games played he scored 10 goals and added 20 assists. He also tallied 5 goals and 6 assists in the post season, helping the Lakers capture the Swedish Championship title.

Chay Genoway will be returning for his second season the SHL as he has signed with Brynäs. The 34 year old defenceman previously played one season with Frölunda where he registered 9 goals and 16 assists. He spent the last two seasons in the KHL playing with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod and Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg.

Genoway wasn't the only North American skater involved in movement by Brynäs this week, however, as Chad Billins will be joining HV71 in HockeyAllsvenskan. The 32 year old defenceman played just 26 games with Brynäs this past season but still registered 10 points. Billins says he is looking "forward to being part of HV71 which is a very good organization. I have always loved playing in Jönköping with the fantastic fans the club has and the setting they create. It will be fun to join and meet my new teammates and I will do everything I can for the association to be successful"

The final North American player to move this week is Shane Harper who has spent the past three seasons playing with Örebro and Brynäs. Harper will be heading back to North America to join New Jersey Devils ECHL affiliate the Adirondack Thunder. In his three seasons in the SHL Harper tallied 29 goals and 41 assists in in 128 games played.

Other Moves

There were only two other moves this week. After signing an entry level contract with the Ottawa Senators earlier in the off season, Viktor Lodin will be returning to play in the SHL this season on a loan with Timrå. The 22 year old was an important piece of Timrås success in HockeyAllsvenskan this past season, putting up 40 points in 44 games and added an additional 9 points in the 13 games in the post season.

The final move of the week comes from Rögle as they have parted ways with Olli Palola. The 33 year old Fin will be rerturning to his home country to play with HIFK in Liga.