NYI signs Erik Gustafsson to a PTO

By, EverydayIsles

The New York Islanders are bringing defenceman Erik Gustafsson to training camp on a PTO (professional try-out) per Chris Johnston of the Toronto Star. Gustafsson is a former AHL all-star and won a gold medal for team Sweden back in the 2017-18 world championship.

Gustafsson is just two seasons removed from a 60-point season, which is an accomplishment that he reached as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2018-19. During that incredible season for him he tallied 17G, 43A, for an even 60 points. 

Since then, he has been traded three times and has not been able to get his same mojo back that he had in 2018-19. He has been a member of the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Calgary Flames all in the last 2 seasons. He has had only 15 points across the last two seasons, playing just in 36 games since 2019.

He was a 2012 draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers: Round 4,  #93 overall. He is now 29 and brings some good experience to the team without being 35+ like Andy Greene and Braydon Coburn.

Gustafsson Transaction History

  • Traded to Calgary by Chicago for a 3rd-round pick in 2020 NHL Draft, February 24, 2020. 
  • Signed as a free agent by Philadelphia, October 12, 2020. 
  • Traded to Montreal by Philadelphia for a 7th-round pick in 2022 NHL Draft, April 12, 2021.

We have been waiting patiently to see who Lou Lamoriello will sign to fill Nick Leddy’s spot, and Gustafsson looks like he is that guy. One problem many Islanders fans had with Nick Leddy wasn’t his offensive skills, but his defensive skills that were simply lacking. Unfortunately, from Canadiens fans I have heard that Gustafsson’s game is very similar with incredible offensive ability but many holes in his defensive game. 

Elite Prospects rated some of his skills and they were promising ratings.

Puck Handling - 18/20

Teamwork - 17/20

Speed - 17/20

Passing - 17/20

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