Back in late April, the Edmonton Oilers inked veteran Swedish blueliner Theodor Lennstrom to a one-year entry-level contract. The idea was that Lennstrom would replace Joel Persson as an AHL/NHL tweener that could eventually pan out and see depth minutes in Edmonton.
The native of Stockholm, Sweden appeared in 31 games with Frolunda HC of the SHL, scoring three goals and adding 12 assists for a total 15 points in 2019-20. It was his fourth season in the league.
On Tuesday, the Oilers announced that Lennstrom would return to Frolunda for the 2020-21 season. The club officially loaned him back amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the second AHL-bound player to be loaned to Europe by the club this month. Dmitri Samorukov was loaned to the KHL.
There is quite a bit of uncertainty regarding the 2020-21 AHL season. The league, at this point, fully expects to play next season. That being said, with the NHL slated to start on December 1st, the league isn’t expected to resume until around December 15th.
That means, via a delayed start, AHL players could go nine months in between games. Far from ideal.
With a return to Sweden, Lennstrom now will be in training camp next month, and will start the season in September. The move allows him to play out a ‘normal’ 2020-21 season.
An offensive defenseman with speed, a good shot and some penalty killing ability, Lennstrom was expected to start his North American career in Bakersfield this fall.