This week has seen the beginning of the European Trophy tournament round robin section. There have been 5 different European prospects from the Stars playing at the tournament: John Klingberg (Frolunda), Emil Molin (Brynas), Ludwig Bystrom (Farjestad), Esa Lindell (Jokerit) and Henri Kiviaho (KalPa).
The European Trophy is a tournament featuring teams from multiple European nations. They play in a round robin tournament and those who end up on top of their various divisions fight it out in a playoff style competition in December. So far they are only in the round robin section of the tournament. The schedule, and in some cases limited highlights, can be found here.
There have been two games played by each team so far this tournament so I thought I'd give a brief update as to how the European prospects are doing.
John Klingberg has had a pretty good start to the tournament on Frolunda's top defensive pairing. In two games he has a goal and two assists, the goal being the game winner during a 5-1 win over HIFK. He's back with the Swedish team he was drafted out of after a brief stint with Jokerit of the SM-Liiga and Skelleftea last season.
Emil Molin is the only Swedish prospect for the Stars, not drafted this summer, to remain with the team he played with last season. He stuck with Brynas, signing for another year when many thought he'd be heading across the pond to play in North America after his ice time issues in Sweden last season. He hasn't registered a point and was demoted off the first line to the third line for Brynas' second game. Hopefully this year he will earn himself a permanent spot somewhere on Brynas' lineup.
Ludwig Bystrom left MODO and signed with Farjestad in the Swedish Hockey League at the end of last season. He's been playing top defensive minutes so far in their first two games. He hasn't registered a point or any penalty minutes so has nothing to show on the stat sheet. He has kept his place on that top unit though which is a positive sign for a player that had a hard time finding stable minutes in any of teams he played for last season.
Esa Lindell was in the lineup only in one of the two games that Jokerit has played so far. He was the odd man out and appears to have been scratched after the first game. He's still young and Jokerit might have decided to sit him out for the rest of the tournament. If he can't find a place in Jokerit in the SM-Liiga he might get loaned out to another team in the Finnish Second Divison.
Henri Kiviaho hasn't touched the ice so far in the tournament but has been backup for KalPa in both games. While this might not sound like much, it is relatively impressive that a 19 year old has been given a backup job in the SM-Liiga at all. Keep an eye out on how he performs through the regular season but I don't expect to see him play in the European Trophy Tournament unless KalPa are taking a real beating.