CRANBERRY, Pa. -- The Penguins have loaned forward prospect Linus Olund to Brynas of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2019-20 season, Brynas announced on Friday.
Olund, 22, was drafted out of Brynas by the Penguins in the fifth-round in the 2017 draft. He made the move to North America last season and recorded six goals and nine assists in 61 games with Wilkes-Barre. He primarily played a fourth-line role and was a healthy scratch at times.
Olund is still under contract with the Penguins for another two seasons; he has not been released from his contract. He's set to become a restricted free-agent in 2021.
The Penguins would have kept Olund in Wilkes-Barre next season, but he requested the loan.
"(The Penguins) respected my wish and wanted to help me," Olund told Brynas in a Swedish interview. "And I wanted to come home, find peace and quiet and find the joy again. I want to be in a place where I know I like it, because then I know that I will be able to focus, and then it will go well on the ice as well."
Olund said that things were "completely different" for him in North America, both culturally and in the style of play on the ice. He added that he learned much about himself as a person during his year in Wilkes-Barre.
"I felt as the season went on that my development didn't go at the rate I wanted," he said. "It emerged during the season that I wanted to go home to Brynas again, and now it is finally ready, even though I have been here and trained for a while. It feels great."
Andreas Dackell, the sports director for Brynas, made it clear that the Penguins aren't giving up on Olund.
"They see development opportunities and potential in him and think it is good that he can come here and develop in an environment where he has done well before," said Dackell. "We are extremely grateful that we will get him here."
Dackell said that he believed Olund's game was not suited for the fourth-line, defensive, checking role he was given, and that Olund needs to be in a point-producing, power play role. Olund will be given that kind of role with Brynas, when he wouldn't have been a top-line player for Wilkes-Barre next season had he stayed.