Watching Lukas Bengtsson play now, you wouldn't know that he's playing his first competitive hockey since January 2017. You wouldn't know about all the precautions he takes to manage a disease that at times left him too sick to skate. You wouldn't know that only a few months ago he thought he almost lost the game he loves.
You'd just see a young, fast, puck-moving defenseman with a knack for offense.
He doesn't feel like someone who's been out for that long, either.
"Lately I've been coming into it much more and more," Bengtsson was telling me this week. "In the beginning that was tough, I could feel in the Rookie Tournamentand those games in the beginning that you've been away for awhile. It's such a difference to play a game than to condition without any players on the ice. It was rough in the beginning, but now the game and everything starts to come together."