Pontus Åberg Signs Two-Year Contract with Nashville

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Nashville Predators have officially signed Pontus Åberg to a new two-year contract that will keep the Swede through to 2019. The terms of the deal will have him earning $650,000 per season in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons and is a one-way NHL contract.

Press Release via Nashville Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (July 18, 2017) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Tuesday that the club has signed forward Pontus Aberg to a two-year, $1.3 million contract. The deal will see Aberg make $650,000 in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Aberg, 23 (9/23/93), made his NHL debut during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs and skated in two games for the Predators against San Jose in their Second Round matchup. The native of Stockholm, Sweden, made his regular season debut on Nov. 8, 2016, and appeared in 15 games last season, scoring one goal and adding an assist. Aberg then skated in 16 more postseason contests as he recorded five points (2g-3a) for the Predators in their run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Selected 37th overall by Nashville in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft, Aberg spent a majority of three seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL from 2014-17. The 5-foot-11, 196-pound winger saw his goal and point totals increase in each of this three seasons, finishing with 31 goals and 52 points during the 2016-17 campaign for the Admirals.

Aberg was a finalist for the 2012 Swedish Elite League Rookie of the Year with Djurgarden. He is on Twitter @PontusAberg.

This makes consecutive days in which the Predators have rewarded last season’s top scorers with their AHL affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals. Frédérick Gaudreau, who signed yesterday, scored 25 goals in 66 games. Åberg managed to score a team best 31 goals in 56 games and, in doing so, joined rarified company as only the fourth Admiral of the AHL Era to record 30 goals or more in a season. If not for logging 15 games with the Predators in the NHL there was a good possibility that the 23-year old from Stockholm, Sweden could have led the AHL in goal scoring during the 2016-17 season.

Åberg made an instant splash on his debut with the Admirals but that rookie season was one of learning for him. He had lots of down or quiet moments but appeared to make the necessary adjustments rather quickly to record 40 points (25 goals, 15 assists) in 74 games the following season. His NHL debut would come on the back of his 2015-16 AHL season with the Admirals during the thick of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. And, perhaps, that was a precursor to what he would manage to do during the Predators run to the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Åberg scored 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the 16 games he suited up for in last season’s playoffs.

Once again, this is a contract that feels both very much deserved and also packs a massive bang for the buck for the Predators. Åberg has been the Admirals top forward the past two seasons and does so while being a very crafty, skilled, and polished all-around player. As was showcased on his debut goal with the Admirals: he can score the flashiest of goals if the moment presents itself. Yet, what I’ve found the most impressive in his progressions since, it is his constant work rate on both sides of the puck that can make all of his tools be known over the course of a game. He had dipped a toe here and there with the NHL and didn’t look the most comfortable early on. But the Åberg that was flying around and making heads up plays during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs was a sign of bigger things to come.

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