Mattias Norlinder, one of the Montreal Canadiens’ top prospects, is returning to North America to join the Laval Rocket on their playoff run this spring.
Mattias Norlinder est en route vers l'Amérique du Nord et se joindra au Rocket de Laval pour les séries éliminatoires.
— Mathias Brunet (@mathiasbrunet) May 2, 2022
With the Swedish Hockey League playoffs in the books, the 22-year-old defenceman has officially finished his time with Frolunda HC and is making his way back to North America.
Norlinder initially began the year in Montreal, after having his season delayed due to an injury sustained during training camp in September. He was able to suit up for six games with the Montreal Canadiens, where he was able to register an assist and log an average of 12:18. He also played six games with the Laval Rocket prior to being loaned back to Frolunda, notching a goal and an assist.
In normal circumstances, Norlinder would not be eligible for the AHL playoffs, as he started the year in the AHL/NHL and would have had to have been sent to the minors prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21. However, because Norlinder was loaned from the Laval Rocket back to Frolunda HC in the SHL, the eligibility rule did not apply to him; as he wasn’t playing in the NHL or in North America at the time.
This loophole explains why Norlinder is eligible for the playoffs, and players like Jordan Harris, who was not yet under contract at the time, can join the Rocket. Norlinder will be offered a golden opportunity to get his feet wet in an elimination setting in Laval, who will boast a rather formidable defence heading into the AHL playoffs. He has an opportunity to be placed in a prime role in a playoff environment and truly impress the new management team in Montreal; putting them on notice that he’s gunning for the NHL as early as next season.
The Rocket will be facing the Syracuse Crunch, the farm team for the Tampa Bay Lightning, with game one set to take place on Friday, May 6 at the Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. The Laval Rocket will get to host their first-ever AHL playoff game at Place Bell on Thursday, May 12.
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) February 25, 2019