The 2020-21 SHL season has not been a productive one for Montreal prospect Jacob Olofsson, to put it nicely. As a result, he has decided to drop down a level, signing a two-year deal with Timra of the second-tier Allsvenskan.
The 20-year-old was a second-round pick of the Habs back in 2018 (56th overall). At the time, there were questions about his offensive ceiling but at the very least, it looked as if he had some NHL upside as a defence-first centre.
Fast forward to today and those same questions are there along with one about whether he’ll even be a centre at the NHL level as Skelleftea opted to move him to the left wing this season. The transition wasn’t a successful one as Olofsson had just one goal and one assist in 16 games while his ice time dropped substantially to the point where he was barely seeing fourth line minutes.
As a result, the decision to go to Timra – an organization he is certainly familiar with having played there before – makes some sense. In the short term, he may be able to go back to playing down the middle while his minutes will certainly go up as well. It’s no guarantee that he’ll play in that division for the entirety of the deal as Timra currently sits atop the league in the standings and if that holds up, they’ll play their way back into the SHL for next season.
It’s worth noting that Montreal has until June 1, 2022 to sign Olofsson so this move won’t directly affect his potential signing timeline as he likely wasn’t going to sign with the Canadiens next season anyway based on the year he was having with Skelleftea. But this move will be his last one before the Habs to make a call on his future. If he doesn’t show considerable improvement, it’s quite possible that Montreal will opt to move on, especially with so many other prospects in the system and picks in the cupboard.