Pittsburgh has agreed to terms with undrafted Swedish blueliner Lukas Bengtsson on a two-year deal, per ESPN.
Bengtsson, 22, is a smallish d-man (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) with quality skating ability and good offensive instincts. He had seven goals and 14 points in 30 games for SHL outfit Frolunda this season, and another seven poits in 12 playoff games.
Bengtsson was believed to be in high demand, with reports of various NHL teams interested in bringing him aboard. The Rangers had him at their prospect development camp last summer.
This is a nice get for the Penguins, who don’t have a ton of quality defensive prospects in their system. Since taking Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Pittsburgh hasn’t chosen a defenseman higher than the fourth round.
As we draw closer to the draft, there’s only one player that’s come close to challenging Auston Matthews as the No. 1 overall pick — Finnish forward Patrik Laine.
On Tuesday, Laine crept up on Matthews even more.
The 18-year-old capped off a banner SM-liiga campaign by helping Tappara capture the Finnish league title, on the strength of 10 goals and 15 points in 18 games. Laine was awarded the Jarri Kurri trophy as the league’s playoff MVP.
At 6-foot-4, 209 pounds and armed with a dynamic shot, Laine’s had scouts drooling for quite some time. After a scintillating World Juniors — in which he helped Finland capture gold with 13 points in seven games — Laine went on to have a terrific SM-liiga regular season, posting 33 points in 46 games.
Of course, I could write and write and write about Laine’s exploits. Or I could post a video:
Laine is expected to be selected to Team Finland for the upcoming World Hockey Championships in Russia.