It looks like Adam Ollas Mattsson is committing to North America.
Originally drafted by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round, 175th overall in the 2014 NHL draft, Ollas Mattsson looked to be staying in Sweden. Having represented Djurgardens since the 2011-12 season, Ollas Mattsson stuck with them until the end of the 2016-17 season, when he came across the ocean to dress in nine games for the Stockton Heat, making his North American debut.
Now, it appears he’ll be playing for the Heat full time in the 2017-18 season, as he has signed a one-year AHL contract.
There was some reasonable question as to whether Ollas Mattsson would ever come over – he’s gone through quite the personal journey – but it appears it’s now time for the Flames to cash in on their investment from the 2014 draft.
An imposing defensive defenceman of 6’4, 216 lbs., Ollas Mattsson isn’t known for his offensive abilities. Playing 52 games in the SHL this past season, he scored just one goal and registered only three assists; in Stockton, he scored one goal and put up one assist.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, if he continues to show and prove a defensive acumen, this time on the smaller North American ice. Ollas Mattsson isn’t one of the stronger names when it comes to the Flames’ increasingly deep defensive farm system, and those names above him – Juuso Valimaki, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Adam Fox – are all known for putting up points. That won’t be Ollas Mattsson, but there’s nothing wrong with a defender who can just straight up defend, especially someone of his size. He did suffer a knee injury in the 2016 World Juniors, which may have hindered him in recent play.
Ollas Mattsson is a left shot. Stockton still has to add to its defensive group for the 2017-18 season, but that puts him in contention with likely one of Matt Bartkowski, Brett Kulak, and Tyler Wotherspoon, as well as Oliver Kylington and Josh Healey – though it is possible someone could have to switch sides if the group can’t acquire more righties (as it stands, Rasmus Andersson is the only right shot with an NHL contract signed expected to play in the AHL this year – although Kayle Doetzel was signed to an AHL deal as well, so he should get regular playing time, too).
It’s likely still a long road ahead for Ollas Mattsson, but appearing to commit to a full season in the AHL is a big step forward for the soon-to-be 21-year-old Swede.