The New York Rangers will be without one of their top prospects for at least the foreseeable future.
According to a report from the Lulea Hockey Club of the Swedish Hockey League 19 year old Rangers prospect Nils Lundkvist has signed a new deal with their organization. The announcement was made via the team's official website on Saturday morning and it indicates that Lundkvist has chosen to remain in the SHL for the 2020 - 2021 season. Although this is only speculation on my part that would appear to indicate that this is a one year deal and there was no mention of any potential out clauses revolving around an NHL offer.
There had recently been some rumblings suggesting that Lundkvist was contemplating the signing of his entry level contract with the New York Rangers, but there are a number of factors that could have impacted this decision. For one the Rangers are no longer playing on their normal timeline given the sudden and unexpected stoppage in the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season cause by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the health concerns caused by that pandemic may have also influenced the young Swedish teenager to stay close to home.
It is unfortunate news for the Rangers to be sure, the 19 year old is coming off a very strong season in the SHL where he recorded 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 total points over just 45 games played as a defenseman. He finished the season with a plus minus rating of +18 and had 30 penalty minutes to his name, all the while drawing rave reviews from those observing his progress. Lundkvist was selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Rangers.