The Rangers on Sunday announced they have loaned center Lias Andersson to Swedish Hockey League team HV71, the club he had been playing for when the Rangers chose him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Andersson, 21, returned to Sweden last month after requesting a trade from the Rangers. He made the Rangers out of training camp, but was stuck in a fourth-line role, averaging fewer than 10 minutes per game, when the Rangers eventually sent him to their AHL Hartford affiliate on Nov. 17. At the time, he had played 17 games for the Rangers, and recorded one assist. He played 13 games in Hartford, scoring four goals, with one assist, before he requested a trade and then left the team.
Initially, the team suspended him, but after he gave an interview to a Swedish reporter in which he hinted at mental health issues, Rangers president John Davidson told reporters on Jan. 10 that he wished to speak directly with Andersson. On Tuesday, Andersson practiced with a second-division Swedish club, Kungalvs IK, a team for which he had played youth hockey, and Sunday the Rangers loaned him to HV71, where he can get back to playing games. HV71 has 17 games remaining in the SHL season.