New York Rangers’ prospect Lias Andersson gets suspended by SHL

New York Rangers, Lias Andersson
Sep 18, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Lias Anderson (50) during warm up before game against New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The SHL has handed down a five-game suspension for New York Rangers’ prospect Lias Andersson for an illegal check to the head.

Andersson’s hit on Luleå’s Jonas Berglund came with 9:32 remaining in the second period. Berglund cleared the puck out of the defensive zone moments before Andersson moves in from the side. Andersson, who is playing for HV71, stepped into Berglund, driving his shoulder into his opponent and making contact with the player’s head.

There was no penalty called on the play but Berglund left the ice and did not return to the game.

According to the SHL, the justification for the suspension is due to the fact that the hit takes place from the side, is careless and disrespectful, carries a high risk of injury, and factors in that the player who was hit was in a vulnerable situation when the hit is handed out.

Andersson was also fined an amount equivalent to $9000 in US currency.

His suspension will keep him out of action through October 17.

In December of 2019, Andersson became unhappy with his situation as he was used sparingly in 17 games with the New York Rangers before being demoted to AHL Hartford. The seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft packed his things and went home to Sweden. The Rangers then loaned him the HV71 where he found some success as their second-line center.  In the 15 games, he played for them last season, Andersson scored 12 points before COVID canceled the league.

Andersson’s play last year and the beginning of this year have led some to speculate that he could be traded before the NHL Entry Draft starts on October 6.