Former NHLer leaves North America after unsuccessful professional tryout

Published October 29, 2023 at 6:04 PM

After an unsuccessful professional tryout contract, where he was unable to earn a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Austin Wagner has decided to take his talents overseas to Europe.

On Sunday, it was announced that Wagner had agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2023-24 season with Swedish Hockey League club IK Oskarshamn.

Note: the following quote is translated from Swedish.

"In Austin we get a player who is fast on the skates and hard working. He can play both as a center and on a wing and we will see how we can use him in our way of playing" said IK Oskarshamn general manager Thomas Froberg.

Wagner, 26, was drafted 99th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2015 and has gone on to play in 178 career games in the National Hockey League, 171 of which were with LA, while the other seven were with the Chicago Blackhawks.

In those 178 career games with Los Angeles and Chicago, the Calgary native put up 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists), 70 penalty minutes and was a minus-19.

In July, Wagner became an unrestricted free agent after the Chicago Blackhawks decided not to issue him a qualifying offer. He went all summer without a new deal before inking a professional tryout contract (PTO) with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which didn't end how he was hoping.

Given that Wagner is only 26-years-old, he could find himself back in North America next season and may also play for Canada at the 2023 Spengler Cup in Switzerland in late-December.

October 29   |   5 answers
Former NHLer leaves North America after unsuccessful professional tryout

Do you think Austin Wagner will return to North America after this season?

Yes120 %
No360 %
Depends on the opportunity he's offered120 %
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