Erik Nystrom leaves the Hamilton Bulldogs for the KHL

Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club

With his professional tryout contract soon coming to an end, Erik Nystrom seems to have decided his career is better served elsewhere.

The Kontinental Hockey League team Medveščak Zagreb has announced on their official website that they have signed Swedish Habs prospect Erik Nystrom to a one year deal, and expect him to join the team on Wednesday.

This is a surprising move, since Nystrom still has 8 games remaining on his professional tryout contract with the Hamilton Bulldogs, and it currently skating on the second line with Christian Thomas and Martin St. Pierre, and that line has been looking excellent.

Nystrom hasn't produced at the level many were hoping to see, with 1 goal and 4 assists in 17 games, but it is also the first 17 games on North American ice for the 20 year old Swede. His shot rate picked up in November to nearly 2 shots per game, and he's been looking like he's about to break out for awhile.

Because this news comes from the KHL, there's every possibility that it isn't true, so we'll wait for confirmation from another source, but this could be a blow to a Bulldogs team that was finally starting to get on a roll.

Thanks to twitterer Tsetse_Fly for bringing this news to my attention.

UPDATE: The Bulldogs have released Nystrom from his PTO, so this news is real. Here's the press release:

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Bulldogs have released forward Erik Nystrom from his professional try out contract.

In 17 games with Hamilton this season, Nystrom recorded five points (one goals, four assists) and four penalty minutes. The 20-year-old split last season between MODO of J20 SuperElit (junior) and Karlskrona HK of Allsvenskan (professional) in Sweden. In 22 regular season games with MODO, he recorded 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) and 32 penalty minutes. In 24 regular season games with Karlskrona, the Stockholm, Sweden native recorded 11 points (five goals, six assists) and four penalty minutes. He was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round (154th overall) in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

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