The Buffalo Sabres have loaned one of their young forwards overseas, sending Rasmus Asplund to Vasteras IK of the Swedish second league. Asplund had been training with the team for months but is now officially allowed to play in games until NHL training camps start.
Asplund, 22, played in 29 games for the Sabres this season, recording his first three NHL points. The 33rd overall pick in 2016, he has 69 points in 108 AHL games over the past two years and is a real candidate to grab a full-time roster spot in Buffalo for 2020-21. Getting some more development time in Sweden will only help that goal, given the uncertainty around the upcoming AHL season.
The young forward is heading into the final year of his entry-level contract, meaning he’ll need a new deal next summer when he becomes a restricted free agent for the first time. You can bet he’d like some more NHL experience to use in those negotiations, though Asplund will not be arbitration-eligible. For now, he’ll play in a league he skipped entirely when he moved from the junior ranks directly to the SHL as a teenager.