Rumor: Amidst NHL Shutdown, Work Doesn’t Stop For Bruins Scouting Staff

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

First and foremost I want to speak for everyone here at the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast and tremendous website staff in saying we as fans understand the sudden stoppage of our beloved sport and it sucks but it’s also a time to think about yourselves and families. By doing our due diligence, humanity and daily routines will return including Boston Bruins hockey. We want to thank everyone for the continued support but also want to show gratitude in saying we’re thinking about you as well. I hope you enjoy this related article as others including myself provide any means of diverting world issue attention to something positive and hockey related.

Heavy Interest In Swedish Hockey Leagues Sandin

With the National Hockey League pausing the 2019-20 regular-season due to the coronavirus pandemic I’m hearing its work as usual with addressing future needs at the forward position even if it’s evaluating from a safer Boston office. Per source, Bruins management had scouts in the Swedish Hockey League under the advisement of local scout and former Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson. The rumor out of the SHL is the Boston organization has taken heavy interest in Linus Sandin a 23-year-old right-winger. The 6′-1″ 209-pound right-shooting forward is currently playing for the SHL’s HV71 club and has contributed offensively with SHL career-high 19-17-36 numbers this season in 51 games. The Swedish native has played in 143 games in the SHL with 38-28-66 totals and is the older brother of defenseman Rasmus Sandin currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

Sandin’s current contract is very interesting when you look into the details.  He has one more full season after this year with the HV71 club and if the idea of bringing him in this season I’m hearing with his no “NHL” out clause he’d have to pass through waivers to make his way to the National League. His last season of 2020-21 would be the ideal time to take advantage without the waiver process. With the work that General Manager Don Sweeney has in front of him this offseason pertaining to contract negotiations, it remains to be seen where Linus could fit. Would a player like Sandin who’d presumably be under a short-term “show me first” contract want to play in the American Hockey League to start while cap space and a roster spot open up at the NHL Bruins level in the future?

Sandin is playing on an impressive HV71 team that includes former Boston Bruins prospects Anthony Camara and Jonathan Sigalet. Also playing on this team is New York Rangers forward prospect, Lias Andersson, who’s holding out from playing in the NHL for the time being. The HV71 season regular season has come to an end and this unfortunate coronavirus has postponed the SHL’s playoffs so this is putting these continued scouting missions at a standstill and the idea of a North American appearance no matter what level is on pause. It’s important to know that Linus is being looked at by several NHL organizations as his SHL contract is on the backend and seemingly more attractive for a low-risk high reward gamble per the player’s terms of course.

The Boston Bruins owned the rights of former forward Carl Soderberg who came to the Boston club via a trade with the St. Louis Blues for what many thought would be a promising goaltender Hannu Toivonen. Soderberg who was a national star in the SHL accepted qualified offers for several seasons but stood firm on not coming to North America without starting in the NHL refusing time with the top minor-pro Providence Bruins organization. Sandin is a very good player when it comes to the international style of the game and his family name is well known so that success in the pro level in his home country might be more appealing over minor-pro duties.

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Obviously, former Bruin turned scout PJ Axelsson had something to do with Linus being invited to the 2019 B’s Development Camp at the Warrior Ice Arena and put on a good showing in front of the Bruins brass and media members such as myself who were covering the multi-day event. Before his 2019-20 hockey season was paused before moving onto the SHL’s postseason, the undrafted winger had six points in his last ten games in his best pro year at the highest level in Sweden. Keeping tabs on players you’ve had previous evaluation opportunities with isn’t a bad idea but it remains to be seen if the Bruins actually pull the trigger to get him here with other NHL franchises looming above like turkey vultures waiting to pounce grasping pro contracts.

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If Linus is in fact interested in leaving his native Swedish country to pursue a professional career in North America and accepts duties in the AHL with Providence, he’d certainly add to an already lethal offensive scoring punch. The Rhode Island team already has Jack Studnicka leading the way in goals and points and Captain Paul Carey not far behind. With a victory on Wednesday night on the road against the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Providence club leads the AHL’s Eastern Conference by one point and was on a 12-game point streak which had the team produce an 11-game winning streak in that timeframe before the shutdown of the regular season. Could a Calder Cup Playoff run with a potential front-running Providence team be tempting enough for Sandin to accept a role in the minors? At this point who knows what both sides are considering with so much confusion of when the AHL, NHL, and SHL are going to get back to playing after the virus ordeal.

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