Similarly to other European based players, Montreal Canadiens centre Lukas Vejdem will be staying overseas on loan, playing for Södertälje SK of Allsvenskan.
The trend has continued with the status of the American Hockey League up in the air. After agreeing to a one-year contract extension with the Montreal Canadiens, Lukas Vejdemo will be playing for Södertälje SK of Allsvenskan for the start of the 2020-21 season.
Vejdemo is now the second Habs player to begin playing hockey in Europe ahead of the new campaign. Defenceman Otto Leiskanen was the first being loaned to Kalpa Kuopio in the Liiga in Finland. And both players are expected to take part in Habs and Laval Rocket training camp, whenever that is meant to happen exactly.
Vejdemo played the majority of the 2019-20 regular season in the AHL but had a short stint in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens. He’ll need to fight for a spot in the bottom six out of camp anyway, but that fight may be less severe depending on what roster moves are made during the offseason.
As far as European experience goes, Vejdemo has spent time in the SuperElite league, where he was drafted out of, and the SHL with Djurgårdens IF. Allsvenskan is second to the Swedish Hockey League in terms of professional sports, but it’s still a place for Vejdemo to play. Despite it being number 2, NHL players have spent time playing in that league, especially teams such as MODO Hockey and Timrå IK.
Vejdemo will also be joined by fellow NHL prospects Samuel Fagemo of the Los Angeles Kings and Axel Andersson of the Axel Andersson, so it’ll be a good place for him to develop for the time being.
How long Vejdemo stays, there will depend on whether he can get an NHL spot as well as the status of the AHL. Neither league is expected to start for next season until at least December, so it makes sense for players such as Vejdemo and Leskinen to find a place to play elsewhere. But if the minors can’t get a legitimate plan in place for playing games without fans, it could mean more prospects being loaned.