New York Rangers forward Lias Andersson has rejected an invitation to attend training camp for the 2020 resumption of play, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
Andersson has instead opted to remain in Sweden, where he’s been since January after he requested a trade from the team back in December. But according to the Post’s report, team president John Davidson seems to be under the belief that the 21-year-old would like to remain with the Rangers. Andersson requested a trade after two seasons where he split time between the NHL and AHL. After returning home to Sweden, Andersson was loaned to SHL club HV71, where he appeared in 15 games and collected 12 points before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the season.
— Pro Hockey Rumors (@prohockeyrumors) June 19, 2020
“We had discussions with Lias about coming over for camp, but he felt it was better for him to stay in his home country at this time,” Davidson told the Post. “We respect that decision.”
“We had a number of good conversations. He told me he wants to be a New York Ranger. We’ll continue to hold his rights and down the road, we’ll have discussions about where it’s best for Lias to play next season.”
Andersson was selected by the Rangers seventh overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and originally came over to North America late in the 2017-18 season. Since that time he has scored three goals and nine points in 66 NHL games and 15 goals and 39 points in 74 AHL games. His entry-level contract with the Rangers expires after the 2020-21 season.
According to the Post, Rangers coach David Quinn reached out to Andersson a couple of weeks ago in what was described as constructive conservation. Andersson, who has been skating regularly, like most NHL players who have stayed in Sweden throughout the shutdown of pro hockey, would have had an excellent chance to crack the game lineup for the tournament. This would have been aided by Brendan Lemieux’s suspension for a still to be determined number of games.