Coveted swedish free agent Joakim Nygård has decided to sign for Edmonton Oilershttps://t.co/I5VxEbDwLe— Johan Ekberg (@VFekberg) May 23, 2019
Old Kenny Netherlands was at it again this afternoon, pulling the trigger - and ending the intrigue - over where SHL speedster Joakim Nygard would wind up this side of the Pacific. Turns out, it’s Edmonton!
Nygard is a left shooting left winger with some serious wheels who posted a very respectable 21-14-35 in 52GP this season, good for T14 in the SHL. Did I mention his wheels yet? Because they really are serious. Very serious. Seriously, watch the above video if you don’t believe me. Dude can burn.
Nygard is otherwise a 6’0’’, 190-pounder who relies on his legs more than his hands to create advantages all over the ice. A player who isn’t afraid to leave - or enter - a zone with the puck on his stick, Nygard’s most obvious asset allows him to create space for his teammates.
Some reports posit that Nygard might be the fastest player in the league. From that same article, Team Sweden’s Head Coach Rikard Gronberg thought enough of the player to have included him in this year’s Beijer Hockey Games roster. While obviously a lesser tournament, it’s worth mentioning that Nygard is at least on the radar of second-tier Swedish forwards for second-tier tournaments. More, from Gronberg:
“He has put up a lot of points this season, but he does a lot of other things well too...His speed and awareness on the ice make him very useful on the PK. He has got a lot of good tools in his toolbox.”
Nygard has been a model of consistent improvement in the SHL over the past three seasons, with 29, 34, and 35 points in Sweden’s top league. It will be interesting to see whether his speed cements his spot alongside the best skater to ever do it, or whether the Oilers will opt to split that kind of lightning up and play him down the lineup. Either way, Nygard marks the first outside-the-organization signing for Ken Holland.
Now to find a coach. And like 10 different executives.
At the time of publishing, there were no details whatsoever pertaining to Nygard’s contract terms. That’s since changed. As per Rishaug:
As had been reported out of Sweden, Oilers look to have landed Nygard. Likely a one year entry level deal (2way) just under a million bucks plus bonuses. Would be UFA after the upcoming season.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 23, 2019