With the deadline approaching on Monday to make a move on Linus Hogberg, the Philadelphia Flyers signed him to an entry-level contract today. If this hadn’t happened, the Flyers would have lost their rights to Hogberg. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the 21-year-old defenseman spent the 2019-2020 season with the Vaxjo Lakers HC in the SHL. He played on the 2017-2018 SHL champion Vaxjo Lakers HC team.
Linus Hogberg is a left-handed shooter with a size comparable to Shayne Gostisbehere. Similar to Gostisbehere, Hogberg is a two-way blueline defenseman who can contribute points. However, Hogberg does have better defensive tendencies. After his 2017-2018 SHL championship season, Hogberg was projected to be a bottom-six pairing. At the NHL level, I estimate that his ceiling will be that of a defensive second pairing.
Considering the circumstances of the Philadelphia Flyers system, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms seem to be a likely starting point for Linus Hogberg. I wouldn’t be surprised if a part of the decision to sign Linus Hogberg has to do with the uncertainty of Wyatt Kalynuk’s future with the Flyers. What Philadelphia does like with Hogberg is that he continuously improved during his run with the Vaxjo Lakers HC. It made him the steadier option to offer an entry-level contract before David Bernhardt.
The defensive depth in the Philadelphia Flyers system is very deep. On the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, there are potentially seven defensemen on the roster. Linus Hogberg will likely come up through the Flyers system with Wyatte Wylie. What is very exciting is the opportunity to watch these players grow and develop together. Stay tuned, because there are other moves to be made at the defenseman position, especially with the Phantoms.
Mandatory Credit – NHL.com