Less than 24 hours after the Minnesota Wild completed this year’s prospect development camp, they got the signature of top 2022 draft pick on a brand new Entry-Level Contract.
Announced by the team on Saturday morning, Liam Öhgren has signed his rookie deal.
Öhgren was selected 19th overall last week, and was largely considered a steal at that level, as other teams decided to select more positionally-focused prospects in the first 18 picks. The 18-year-old left-winger is a sizeable and stocky forward, standing at 6-foot-1 and 201 lbs, so he is certainly not fitting into the more recent trend of selecting this smaller forwards with high work ethics — Öhgren just has it all.
The contract signing does not signify that Öhgren will not be going back to Sweden to play his entire year for Djurgårdens IF. While we would all love to have his development sped up slightly, and have the exciting prospect just miles away, playing for AHL Iowa, he will most likely be going back overseas. The only way I could see Minnesota trying to sway Öhgren to stay in North America, is that Djurgårdens will not be playing in the SHL next year, as they were relegated down to the Allsvenskan — the second tier of professional hockey in Sweden.
Plenty of Swedish prospects play in the Allsvenskan the year after they were drafted and still turn out to be top-tier fowards — namely Filip Forsberg and William Karlsson — but it is a slight wrinkle in the possibility and can open up a different environment for the two-way winger to blossom within.
Either way, we’ll be able to keep tab on the talented forward and have him in St. Paul soon enough.
Last year, while playing in the J20 Nationell, Öhgren was named the top forward of the league, while having a historic season in the junior league, averaging 1.93 points per game, which is more than some of the best players to ever appear in that league.
The Wild got a good one and now he’s signed to a contract.
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