Some interesting news coming out of the late night hours as it pertains to next season. According to Henrik Leman of GT in Sweden, Nashville Predators prospect Max Görtz is leaving Frölunda of the Swedish Hockey League for North American hockey in the 2015-16 season.
Görtz had signed his entry level contract with the Predators in early-June last summer. Rather than join the likes of fellow Swedes Pontus Åberg, Johan Alm, and Viktor Arvidsson as first year North American pros Görtz was loaned back to his SHL outfit Frölunda for the entirety of the 2014-15 season. He produced his best senior team season of his career with 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) in 53 games as well as 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) in 12 playoff games. Downside? His season did end with him being taken off on a stretcher in Frölunda’s semi-final against the Växjö Lakers.
It’s not clear whether or not this means Görtz would be set to join the Milwaukee Admirals next season. If his aim is to shoot for an NHL spot in camp he’s going to have plenty of competition. The Predators already added Steve Moses after he finished a season with Jokerit in Russia’s KHL in which he led the league in goal scoring with 36 goals in 60 games – and 5 goals in 10 playoff games. Plus, I hear there is this kid named Kevin Fiala somewhere. He should be pretty good.
Should Görtz do what he did last season, opting to reject AHL hockey in favor of returning to Sweden, I think it would be a real shame for both himself and Milwaukee. He is incredibly talented but I think will need the time to adapt to the North American game in the same way his fellow countryman have this season. He could pull an Arvidsson and just fit right in or an Åberg and struggle to find his consistency. The difference between Åberg and Görtz for the 2015-16 season? Aberg has already learned from lots of mistakes that he’s experienced thanks to the speed of the North American pro game. Görtz hasn’t yet. And I think he should if he is ever going to make a dent in the NHL.
Will Max Görtz be a member of the Milwaukee Admirals next season? Do you think developing in Europe is better suited for certain players than developing in the AHL? If so, why?