The Pittsburgh Penguins’ potential new-look defense could include a seasoned veteran blueliner … who’s never played a game in the NHL.
They signed Niclas Andersen, long of the Swedish Hockey League, to a one-year contract on Monday. It’s considered an entry-level deal for the 27-year-old.
Andersen enjoyed a nice season for Byrnas in Sweden, generating 22 points in 54 games (easily his best point output). Andersen also got his feet wet in the KHL, going through 2012-13 and 2013-14 with Cherepovets Severstal.
While financial details weren’t available, the Penguins could save a lot of money on a younger defense in 2015-16, as it appears they’ll allow both Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff to walk. It’s unclear where exactly Andersen fits into the mix.
Amusingly, he could probably fool people if he swapped jerseys with another Penguins defenseman:
He may also continue a light trend in which the Pens are adding a little extra European flair: