While Matt Donovan would undoubtedly rather remain under contract with the Nashville Predators, he will settle for staying in familiar territory and continuing his relationship with the organization. The Predators’ AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, announced today that they had signed Donovan to a two-year AHL contract, an extension of sorts for the veteran defenseman. While Donovan only played in two games with Nashville last season and zero this season, he has been crucial piece for Milwaukee in both campaigns. An experienced two-way defenseman who has spent time in the New York Islanders organization as well as in Sweden and in the NCAA with the University of Denver, Donovan is known as a possession defenseman who can jump up into the play but can also be relied upon for physicality and defensive awareness. A top-pair defenseman for the Admirals, Donovan will continue to play a major role for the team while he sets his personal sights on playing his way back onto an NHL contract.
- A move that flew under the radar recently – as fans hold out hope for a continued NHL season and are not thinking ahead to free agency just yet – is goaltender Niklas Svedberg resigning in Sweden. The 30-year-old netminder, and former member of the Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild, was one of the best goalies in the SHL this season. Yet, despite what could be a weak goalie market this summer, Svedberg has opted to re-up with Djurgardens IF rather than test the NHL waters again. The team announced a new two-year deal with Svedberg, retaining one of their most valuable assets for a while longer. Svedberg would be 33 before he could have the chance to suit up once again in North America, which could mean that his NHL days are over. The talented keeper never quite found the right time to break into a consistent NHL role, despite strong numbers at both the NHL and AHL level – including an AHL All-Star nod in 2012-13 – as well as some stellar seasons in the KHL and SHL. It seems the veteran goalie is simply content to stay in his native country and continue to be one of Sweden’s best at his position.
- Staying in Sweden, Leksands IF has a lot to look forward to as they have retained two young standouts in Alexander Lundqvist and Nils Aman. The team announced two-year contract extensions with both exciting young pieces, who each made their SHL debut this season. Lundqvist, 19, is the nephew of Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and a budding puck-moving defenseman in his own right. Undrafted in 2019, Lundqvist will be up for grabs again this year and should draw more attention following a 24-point campaign in the SuperElit and an eight-game stint in the SHL. At 6’2”, 183 lbs. and lauded skating ability, Lundqvist projects as a solid two-way defenseman and should step into a regular SHL role next year. Aman, 20, has a similar stature to Lundqvist but plays up front and has the numbers to prove it. Aman posted 47 points in 30 games in the SuperElit and made the most of his own eight-game stint in the SHL with three points. Aman looks ready for the top level and should slot into a consistent role next year as well. A youth movement could be coming to Leksands, who need all the help they can get after only missing the relegation game due to the league’s recent cancellation.