Calgary Flames prospect William Strömgren recently had his season come to an end, as Rogle’s Swedish Hockey League team was eliminated from the post-season. That ended a year that saw him spent time in the pros, the juniors, and playing some games for Sweden’s national junior team.
Expect Strömgren’s next few seasons to look fairly similar due to a quirk in the new NHL/Sweden transfer agreement revealed by Elliotte Friedman in 32 Thoughts.
The NHL recently signed a new transfer agreement with Sweden and it contained an interesting change. Previously, a player selected in the second round or later who also had a contract in Sweden had to be 21 before being allowed to be sent to the AHL. If younger, it was back home. Now the age is 24, a victory for the Swedish league. First-rounders are exempt. They can be sent to the AHL without protest.
So here’s how it impacts Strömgren: He’s a 2021 second-round pick. He’s under contract with Rogle BK for two more seasons, through 2023-24, and he’ll turn 21 right after his contract expires.
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If he signs with the Flames this summer or next, with time left on his Swedish contract, he’ll either need to play in the NHL or be sent back to Sweden, which would burn years off his entry level deal without the Flames having a direct hand in his development. If you’re using up a player’s most inexpensive, flexible years, you probably want to have as much involvement with his development as possible.
If Strömgren ends up signing after his Swedish deal expires (the end of the 2023-24 season), his hypothetical entry level deal would be a three year deal beginning in 2024-25. By that point, he’ll just be 21 and have a good deal of high level experience – he dipped his toes into the SHL pond this season, but spent about half of his draft year in the second tier HockeyAllsvenskan as well.
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Jumping into North American hockey from Europe can be really tough. Oliver Kylington made the transition as an 18-year-old after being a pretty good SHL blueliner and it took him two or three AHL seasons until he was a serious contender for NHL minutes. If the choice for Strömgren based on the transfer agreement is playing either in the NHL or Sweden, his body of work in Sweden strongly suggests that he could use more development time over there before signing an NHL contract and likely transitioning onto the AHL.
Long story short: all signs are pointing to Strömgren spending two more seasons in Sweden and then possibly signing with the Flames when his Swedish contract expires.

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