Filip Ahl, the Sens’ 109th overall pick in 2015, will be leaving North America to join Örebro HK in the SHL.
Last year, Ahl showed his commitment to playing in North America by entering the CHL import draft, and being chosen by the Regina Pats 31st overall. Ahl transitioned nicely, producing 28 goals and 48 points in 54 games, as well as another 18 points in 20 playoff games. His Pats made it all the way to the WHL finals, losing in six games to the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The move has it’s positives and it’s negatives. He’s guaranteed a spot in the SHL next season to play against professional players, definitely a step up from the WHL. It could be Ahl showing his commitment to his development as player.
However, it could also be worth questioning the winger’s commitment to making the NHL. He’ll be passing up a great opportunity to play on a contending Regina team that’s guaranteed a spot in next year’s Memorial Cup as the host, playing with top WHL talents. Örebro isn’t a particularly strong team, either, as they finished third last in the SHL last season, one spot away from facing relegation.
Hopefully Ahl is still committed to making the NHL, and can join the organization in the near future. The Senators hold his rights for one more season, meaning he will have to sign an entry-level contact next offseason if he’s to avoid free agency.