New York Islanders first-round pick from 2019, Simon Holmstrom, is headed to Sweden on loan.
On Friday, the New York Islanders prospect Simon Holmstrom was sent out on loan to Swedish side Vita Hasten. Vita Hasten plays in Sweden’s second division: HockeyAllsvenskan.
Last season Holmstrom played 46 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL. He put up 15 points with eight goals and seven assists in his first year playing North American hockey.
Vita Hasten finished the 2019-20 season in sixth place in Sweden’s second division with a 20-8-5-19 record for 81 points. The COVID-19 pandemic forcing the SHL and HockeyAllesvenskan to cancel the 2019-20 playoffs.
With the 23rd pick at the 2019 draft, the New York Islanders surprised just about everyone when the picked Simon Holmstrom. By all accounts, Holmstrom was a second-round pick and not a player that was destined to be selected as early as 23.
In his first post-draft season, Holmstrom made the leap from Sweden to play in the AHL in 2019-20. At the start of the 2019-20 season, Holmstrom was only 18. Making him the youngest player to ever suit up for the Sound Tigers.
His first season in North America started out as well as it could. He got an extended look at Islanders training camp heading into 2019-20 with Isles head coach Barry Trotz recognizing that Holmstrom was a “really intelligent kid.”
He followed up that showing with a solid introductory year with the Sound Tigers.
After the AHL season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson was excited about Holmstom intelligence and skill (subscription required) and his potential going forward.
Going to Vita Hasten will allow Holmstrom to continue his development in the lead up to the 2020-21 season. At the moment, the AHL isn’t likely going to start before December 4th, And that could still be pushed back based on what happens with the league’s ability to have crowds at games.
If the 2020-21 season starts as scheduled on December 4, the Islanders can recall Holmstrom from his loan and have him begin his season in North America with the rest of his team.