MODO of the Swedish second league Allsvenskan is reporting that the Maple Leafs have loaned Jesper Lindgren to the team for next season.
Lindgren spent several years in the MODO system as a junior until moving to Finland for two years to play for HPK in the Liiga. He has played at the SHL level in Sweden for a few games in 2014 - 2016 until the team was relegated. He has one full season in Allsvenskan in 2016-2017, where he had 24 points in 50 games and played a significant role.
The Leafs drafted Lindgren in 2015 in the fourth round. They signed him to an SPC in May of 2018, and he will finish that ELC at the end of the 2020-2021 season. Because he is now 23, this season in Sweden (as long as he plays at least 10 games) counts as a professional season for arbitration rules, and he will be an RFA with arbitration rights in the 2021 NHL offseason. Lindgren played only 31 games for the Marlies this season, due to injuries.
The Leafs have already loaned newly-signed Mikko Lehtonen and Egor Korshkov to their former KHL teams. All of these loans are assumed to have NHL out clauses, so the players can be recalled if the Leafs want them back once they are actually playing next season’s games.
There are a host of players under NHL contract to the Leafs for 2020-2021, who played this season either in junior or the AHL. Many of them are European, and all of them could be eligible for a loan as the European seasons gear up to open in September and October.
The full list with the current assignments looks like this:
Maple Leafs signed juniors/minor leaguers
|Name||Birthdate||Pos||2019/2020 Team||2020/2021 Team||Junior Eligible|
|Mikko Lehtonen||Jan 16, 1994||LD||Jokerit, KHL||Jokerit, KHL|
|Yegor Korshkov||July 10, 1996||RW/LW||Toronto Marlies, AHL||Lokomotiv, KHL|
|Jesper Lindgren||May 19, 1997||RD||Toronto Marllies, AHL||MODO, Allsvenskan|
|Kenny Agostino||April 30, 1992||LW||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Kalle Kossila||April 14, 1993||C||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Alexander Barabanov||June 17, 1994||RW/LW||SKA, KHL|
|Nic Petan||March 22, 1995||LW/RW||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Teemu Kivihalme||June 14, 1995||LD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Adam Brooks||May 6, 1996||C||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Joseph Duszak||July 22, 1997||RD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Kristians Rubins||December 11, 1997||LD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Joseph Woll||July 12, 1998||G||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Mac Hollowell||September 26, 1998||RD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Ian Scott||January 11, 1999||G||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Timothy Liljegren||April 30, 1999||RD||Toronto Marllies, AHL|
|Filip Kral||October 20, 1999||D||Spokane Chiefs, WHL|
|Semyon Der-Arguchintsev||September 15, 2000||C||Peterboroough Petes, OHL||Overager|
|Mikhail Abramov||March 26, 2001||C||Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL||Yes|
|Nick Robertson||September 11, 2001||LW||Peterboroough Petes, OHL||Yes|
If you’re not seeing some names you expect, likely they are expiring RFAs or UFAs who are not currently under contract for the next NHL season.
As more and more players are loaned to European teams, the competition for spots will get tougher. Players already on those teams will move down, then prospects will move back to junior teams, and U20 players might end up on U18 teams instead.
The question of how long these players will stay on these teams is also a very open one. Egor Korshkov should be expected to play most of the season, assuming the KHL even has a season. Several teams collectively decided to cancel all of their preseason games in Moscow today because of COVID-19 concerns in the Russian capital.