Former NY Islanders forward Leo Komarov is continuing his hockey career overseas, this time in Sweden. Komarov departed for the KHL after dressing for a single game with the Islanders in the 2021-22 season and after a demotion to the AHL Bridgeport Islanders. The Narva, Estonia native signed a contract with SKA St. Petersburg to play in the top international professional ice hockey league.
Komarov skated in 18 games of the regular season for St. Petersburg, scoring four goals and six points. St. Petersburg and Komarov then moved on to the Gagarin Cup Playoffs after clinching first place in the Bobrov Division. In 16 games in the Gagarin Playoffs, Komarov tallied a goal and two assists before facing elimination.
Komarov also represented Finland alongside former Islander Valtteri Filppula at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Komarov, Filppula and Team Finland defeated defending Mens Olympic Hockey Champions ROC, claiming gold at the world tournament. Komarov scored one goal in six games.
After losing in the qualifying round of the SHL playoffs (Sweden's top professional league) last season, Brynäs IF has been adding some strong former NHL talent to their roster with the hopes of building on last season. It was reported on Wednesday that former Washington Capitals center, Johan Larsson, was signing a contract with the Swedish club, giving pause to some as Larsson is believed to still be a quality NHL forward. On Thursday, it has been reported that Komarov will also be joining Brynäs which will be the former Islander forwards first stint in the SHL.
Komarov will reportedly join Alexander Ljungkrantz, the Islanders' third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Ljungkrantz has skated with the Brynäs organization for the last five seasons from the U16 level all the way to the SHL. Brynäs head coach, Mikko Manner, has what's been deemed a "Finnish colony" at his disposal and that now grows larger with Komarov at his disposal.