This morning, the Edmonton Oilers announced via their social media accounts that the team has signed Swedish defenceman, Theodor Lennstrom, to a one-year, entry-level contract.
The #Oilers have signed Theodor Lennstrom to a one-year, entry-level contract.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 29, 2020
As we’ve seen a lot since the NHL shut down a month and a half ago, Ken Holland keeps chipping away at his offseason to-do list with yet another signing to bolster the Oilers’ depth chart. Lennstrom, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, has played a total of 151 SHL games over the past seven years and has amassed 59 points (11G, 38A) and 70 PIMs to go along with a +22 rating. This past season, the 6’1″ blueliner helped Frolunda HC capture the Champions Hockey League title back in February and led all defenceman with three goals.
As we saw with Joel Persson this past season, it’s certainly going to take some time for the 25-year-old Lennstrom to adjust to a North American style of play, and one would suspect that he’ll start the upcoming season down in Bakersfield while he works to make the adjustment. At the very least, signing Lennstrom will add another player with some professional experience to a defensive depth chart that will need some fresh bodies after players like Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones have both graduated to the NHL. As I mentioned earlier, Ken Holland is a manager that seems to like making short term, low-risk bets on players that may be able to help and this signing certainly seems to be another case.
So who is Theodor Lennstrom? Our friends at Elite Prospects provided a quick scouting report:
Lennström is an offensive defensemen who moves quickly on the ice. Great skater. Has a good shot and is fairly good at penalties. On the downside, Lennström needs to work on his defensive game, and improve his positioning in order reach his potential as a top defender. – David Enbom (2019)
If the first year of the Holland regime taught us anything, it’s that the new Oilers boss loves having some internal competition on his depth chart and this Lennstrom signing is another example. As of this morning, the Oilers have Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Kris Russell, Caleb Jones, William Lagesson (RFA), and Dimitri Samorukov on the left side for the 2020-21 season. With 2019 first-round pick Philip Broberg expected to spend at least one more season in Sweden, the Oilers have room on their AHL blue line to take a flyer on a player like Lennstrom. I mean, who knows how he’ll pan out or if he’ll ever play NHL games, but there’s no doubt that bringing him over on a one-year deal is a low-risk bet that could potentially have some upside.
LENNSTROM’S CAREER SO FAR
|2017-18||Farjestads BK Karlstad||SweHL||47||5||11||16||24||8||3||2|
|2018-19||Farjestads BK Karlstad||SweHL||47||2||13||15||34||8||14||1||1||6|