Rangers Prospect Karl Henriksson to Return to SHL

The final remaining piece of the initial Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller blockbuster of 2018 has officially moved on. Rangers prospect Karl Henriksson has signed a two-year contract with the Växjö Lakers of the SHL meaning his road to the Rangers is likely over. 

Henriksson became the 2019 second round draft pick the Rangers acquired in their big trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018. It took a couple of seasons before he made his way to North America but after 134 games with the Wolf Pack in the AHL, it’s become quite clear that his road to the NHL was at a crossroads. The Rangers could still choose to retain his rights if they extend him a qualifying offer but for all intents and purposes, it’s fair to assume the ship has sailed on his future with the team. Not only was Henriksson buried in the Rangers depth charts, but he was spending most nights deep in Hartford’s lineup as well. Across those two seasons, he averaged twenty points a season which is fine but not enough to land him on the Rangers radar. 

He’s still young at 23 years of age and very well could take a less traditional path to the NHL down the road. However, it’s more likely than not he will continue his career in his home country becoming one of those names we randomly mention when thinking about all the swings and misses the Rangers took in their not so illustrious draft history. On the bright side, the list of names the Rangers passed up on over him in that draft isn’t overwhelmingly great so it’s not worth playing the "what if" game in that regard. 

Best of luck to Karl and the Lakers!