The Habs were busy on Tuesday afternoon as they officially announced the
signing of a pair of Swedish prospects. Magnus Nygren, as had been
reported last week, received a two year, entry level contract while Sebastian
Collberg inked a three year, entry level pact. As always, financial terms
of the contracts were not officially disclosed.
Nygren was Montreal’s 4th round pick in 2011, 113th overall. He was
drafted as a 21 year old after a strong second half to his 2010-11 SEL season
plus a strong playoff run. However, the next year, he took a big step
backwards and was more or less relegated to a bottom pairing defenceman/powerplay
specialist. Fortunately, 2012-13 was his best season by far.
Not only did Nygren beat his previous career highs in goals (13), assists
(19), and points (32), he took several strides forward in his own end while
playing a much larger role with Farjestad (he averaged 23:17 per game). As
a result of his efforts, he was awarded the Salming Trophy, given to the best
defenceman in Sweden’s Elitserien. He signed a one year extension with his
club team back in February but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be
available to play in Montreal or Hamilton next season.
Collberg was the Habs’ 2nd rounder this past June (33rd overall) and had
quite a nomadic year. He played the bulk of his time in the SEL with
Frolunda but often saw limited minutes, particularly at the beginning of the
season. In total, he had six goals and three helpers in 35 games
(averaging 10:00 per game in ice time). He also played in 15 games with
Orebro of Sweden’s Allsvenskan where he collected another six goals and two
His journey didn’t stop there though. On top of spending time with
Sweden’s World Junior squad, he also suited up for Frolunda’s junior team for a
game, plus his hometown’s team for one game. At the end of the year, he
flew over to North America and got into a pair of games with the Hamilton
Bulldogs. Between the various leagues, Collberg played in 76 total games
(including playoffs) which is quite a few for a Swedish-based prospect.
As Collberg is 19 and still has junior eligibility remaining, his deal is
eligible for a ‘contract slide,’ meaning that unless he plays in nine games with
Montreal this upcoming season, his deal won’t officially commence until the
2014-15 season. Like Nygren, he signed a one year extension with his SEL
club team in February and is likely to play there next season. He is,
however, eligible to play for Hamilton if the Habs want him there.
Additionally, if he is selected in the upcoming CHL Import Draft, he would be
eligible to play in the CHL but I wouldn’t expect Collberg to come over to play
a year of junior hockey.
The team also announced on Tuesday that defenceman Alexei Emelin underwent
successful ACL and MCL surgery. The delay stemmed from the amount of
swelling in his left knee. As a result, Emelin will not be available for
the beginning of next season and is likely to miss six months.