The Senators have made their first signing of the offseason, inking Swedish defenceman Olle Alsing to a two-year entry-level contract. Per CapFriendly, the contract is two-way, and carries a $925k cap hit in the NHL and $70k in the AHL.
Alsing just turned 23, and just finished a decently offensive campaign for a defenceman, playing for Djurgårdens in the SHL. He scored 15 points (4 goals) in 49 regular season games—27th among defencemen—and then added eight points (four goals)—sixth among defencemen—in 18 playoff games, helping Djurgårdens to the SHL finals where they lost to Frölunda in six games. Alsing went undrafted, likely because he was 5’11” and only 160 lbs, playing primarily for the Junior-18 team of Almtuna IS in the Allsvenskan. It’s interesting that the Sens signed him now, considering that he hasn’t grown taller, and he’s only reported as having put on 10 lbs since 2015. The Sens don’t normally like undersized players unless they’re amazing, such as Erik Brannstrom. Alsing was the third-best defenceman on his SHL team, and at age 23, it’s hard to imagine him improving drastically.
It’s also curious because he’s left-handed, and the Sens seem to be overrun with lefties. Likely it’s because the Sens are expecting roster turnover in both the NHL and the AHL. Thomas Chabot is the only left-handed defenceman I would say is guaranteed an NHL spot with the Sens next year. After that, there are Mark Borowiecki, Ben Harpur, Christian Wolanin, Erik Brannstrom, and Maxime Lajoie all competing for spots on the left side. Maybe the Sens are expecting to have a couple of defencemen play their off-side in the NHL, because otherwise that’s four left-handed defencemen under contract in the AHL with RFA Andreas Englund likely to be re-signed as well.
I think overall it’s unlikely we’ll see Alsing in the NHL unless the Sens promised him a couple games when he signed over here. This was a low-cost signing to shore up the AHL defensive depth, and that’s never a bad idea considering the B-Sens should be competing for a playoff spot again next season.