(Photo Credit: Angela Spagna)
**This article was updated July 2nd, 2018 with new information on Andersson’s contract specifics. All updates are italicized.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 1, 2018
Some fans (myself included) may have felt that Axel Andersson was a bit of a reach at 57th Overall this year, but the Bruins have apparently been impressed to this point. Along with all of their free agent signings today, Boston announced that they had signed the 2018 2nd Rounder to a 3-year Entry-Level Contract worth an Average Annual Value of $825,833.
Andersson spent the last two seasons playing in Sweden’s top junior league for Djurgardens’ J20 program and produced 6 goals and 25 assists for 31 points in 42 games this year. Adding some intrigue to this signing is the fact that Andersson was selected 51st Overall last week in the CHL Import Draft by the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers.
Kitchener Rangers GM Mike McKenzie has spoken to the agent of import pick Axel Andersson and feels there is a “strong chance” he suits up for the club this season.
— Josh Brown (@BrownRecord) June 28, 2018
Kitchener GM Mike McKenzie seemed to be relatively confident that Andersson would be suiting up for the Rangers this year. Signing Andersson to his ELC does not necessarily guarantee this, but it makes it much more likely. As he was drafted out of Sweden, the Bruins have several options for him. He can either play in the AHL this year (unlikely), go back to Sweden (more on that in a sec.), or be loaned to the Rangers, all three of which would result in his contract “sliding,” or delaying the start of the deal until the start of the next season. According to Cap Friendly, Andersson’s contract includes a European Assignment Clause for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, which allows the Bruins to assign him to his Swedish team rather than to Kitchener or Providence.
This can happen for the next two seasons before the contract could begin. What this DOES do, however, is give the Bruins complete autonomy on where Andersson plays next season, since he is now employed by the team. Where will he play? Who knows. But, in all likelihood, he will be in a Spoked-B in due course. And he seems like a really great guy.
— Matt Castle (@whitecastle22) June 26, 2018