Los Angeles is reportedly close to announcing an interesting acquisition — Swedish blueliner Oscar Fantenberg, who spent last season starring for HC Sochi of the KHL.
From LA Kings Insider, who posted the news yesterday:
I’m told [Fantenberg’s] another transition-comfortable defender who “creates pace with the puck, recognizes options quickly and skates smoothly with authority.”
Fantenberg, 25, is a prototypical late bloomer. After going undrafted by an NHL club, he worked his way up the Swedish League to eventually become a key contributor for Frolunda’s championship-winning side in ’15-16.
From there, he jumped to Russia with the expansion Sochi outfit, and fared well. He established himself as a talented offensive defenseman — 23 points in 44 games — and was the club’s representative at this year’s KHL All-Star Game (but was unable to participate due to injury).
Internationally, Fantenberg has been in the mix since 2012, and most recently represented Sweden at the 2016 World Hockey Championships, appearing in eight games.
It’ll be interesting to see where he fits within the Kings organization next season. The club has six d-men under contract for next season — Drew Doughty, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Matt Greene, Brayden McNabb, Derek Forbort — with a seventh, Kevin Gravel, a restricted free agent.