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Swedish Report: Lukas Bengtsson to go back to the SHL

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A Swedish report says that the Penguins prospect defenseman will not return to the Pittsburgh organization for 2018-19.

NHL: Preseason-Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

According to expressen.se Penguins minor league defenseman Lukas Bengtsson will be returning to Sweden next season and play for Linköping.

Translation via google:

Lukas Bengtsson went to NHL to try to play in Pittsburgh Penguins team. But the career in North America has hardly gone as Bengtsson wanted. Disease and injuries have stopped, and now Bengtsson turns home to Sweden. According to information to MrMadhawk.se, Linköping seems to win the match for the 23-year-old. Lukas Bengtsson is verbally agreed with LHC. ”A good back, which I think most SHL clubs would like to say,” says Linköping’s [defensive] coach, Klas Östman.

Lukas Bengtsson has been at all SHL club tables during the winter. Former clubs Frölunda and Mora have been interested. Other clubs have been forced back due to high payroll requirements. Linköping has had a couple of ace in the rock screen to pick up when it seems that they have reached an agreement with Bengtsson. Several independent sources confirm that Linköping made an oral agreement. At four points, LHC, Bengtsson fits perfectly.

* A major role in an established SHL team. That shouts after a right-wing back.

* Reasonable proximity to Stockholm, which is Bengtsson’s hometown.

* Is willing to pay the money that Bengtsson and his agent Johan Altberg want.

* Former [defensive] coach Klas Östman is now in Linköping.

”I was very pleased when I worked with Lukas, although it was only a shorter period in Frölunda,” says Östman.

[Questions with Östman]

Have you had any contact since then?-

Not very much. But I understand where you want to come. I think most SHL clubs are interested and I can say that we are also. But you may ask “Emmis” because he is speaking on behalf of Linköping on those questions, says Östman.

You need right-handed [defenders].

”Yes, it does not cuddle directly of them if we say so, but I think Lukas Bengtsson is a great player.

Bengtsson signed a two-year entry level contract with Pittsburgh in April 2016. In October 2016, as we first said for any English language website, it was believed Bengtsson was dealing with Lyme’s disase. By the following April, it was understood that he actually suffered from a rare condition called POTS Syndrome. Bengtsson was only able to play 16 games in Wilkes-Barre that season, scoring one goal and assisting on five more.

This season, unfortunately, was more of the same with injuries. Bengtsson has only played 28 games at the AHL level, scoring no goals but chipping in with 13 assists. Bengtsson suffered a wrist injury in December that knocked him out of the lineup for a while, and then has been out ever since getting crunched into the boards almost as soon as he got back into the lineup.

Bengtsson’s NHL contract is up after this season, and if the report is to be believed, he’s already decided to head back to Sweden to continue his career. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of his control, he never really got on the NHL radar seriously by not being able to play enough games and stay healthy. The best ability is availability, and Bengtsson unfortunately could never demonstrate that. As a smaller puck moving defenseman, there were also questions if Bengtsson could defend away from the puck at an NHL caliber level. He didn’t retain enough health to prove it at the AHL level.

Bengtsson turns 24-years-old next month, and will be at a point where he can make a lot more money playing at home. His NHL entry level contract only paid him $70,000 for time spent in the AHL, in addition to a signing bonus. In that respect, a return to Sweden and putting two tough seasons behind him certainly is a move that makes sense for him personally and professionally.