The Penguins performed a little organizational clean up on Thursday, paving the way for forward Linus Olund to move on.
Unconditional waivers: LINUS OLUND— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) May 28, 2020
Olund, 22, was a fifth round pick in 2017 by Pittsburgh. He came over to North America for the 2018-19 season, scoring just six goals and adding nine assists in 61 games with AHL Wilkes-Barre in that season. Then, last summer, the Pens “loaned” Olund back to Sweden (which really just means they allowed him as a player under contract to play outside their organization) and Olund scored 14 points (4G+10A) in 45 games with Brynas Galve IF of the SHL.
Last month Olund agreed to a three year contract extension with Brynas, so this move in the NHL by the Pens just cleans up their own books a bit. Every NHL team can only have 50 NHL contracts, of which Olund was scheduled to use one up next season. Being as he’s staying in Sweden for the immediate future (and doesn’t look to have much an NHL playing career at all at this point) there’s no reason to keep a formal relationship with him to unnecessarily chew up a contract. Technically Olund is on NHL waivers today, and when no one claims him tomorrow (which given stature and Swedish contract status, no one will) Pittsburgh can then cancel his contract and all will move on.
Olund finished 16th in the 2018 Pensburgh Top 25 Under 25 (which really just speaks to how little depth and prospects the team has had) and was unranked in 2019 after he didn’t perform well in the AHL and left the organization. He was always a longshot type of prospect, as all fifth round picks are, and like most of them he fell short of making it to the very top reaches of the hockey world.
Pittsburgh has been pretty active in free agency already this year, recently signing NCAA players Drew O’Connor and Cam Lee, as well as Czech product Radim Zohorna. Getting out of a contract in Olund frees up moves like that to try and seek out a player from somewhere that can help at the NHL level.