The Sabres are in talks with Vasteras of the Allsvenskan in Sweden regarding a loan agreement forward Rasmus Asplund, notes Henrik Sjoberg of HockeyNews.se. If completed, the loan would be until NHL training camps get underway which, as things stand, is projected to be sometime in November.
It was a tale of two seasons for the 22-year-old who was a high second-round pick back in 2016. He was reasonably productive with AHL Rochester where he had 19 points (3-16-19) in 33 games. That helped him earn a couple of stints in Buffalo but he struggled offensively, collecting just a single goal with two assists in 29 contests. He did, however, take a regular turn on the penalty kill at the very least, averaging 1:46 per game in that situation.
On the surface, it may seem odd that someone with aspirations of landing a full-time NHL roster spot would opt to go to a second-division team in Sweden but doing so would allow him to play a bigger role offensively. A good start over there could help him carry some momentum into Buffalo’s training camp which might be enough to help him earn a spot. Otherwise, a return to Rochester would be in the cards for 2020-21 as Asplund remains exempt from waivers.
Buffalo has already taken advantage of the opportunity to loan out some of their prospects as goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (TPS Turku) and center Arttu Ruotsalainen (Ilves) have both found places to start next season. It looks as if Asplund will be the next one from the Sabres to go that route.