After his head coach called him “Horrible. Absolutely horrible.” Nashville Predators defensive prospect Mattias Ekholm was assigned to his Brynas club of the Swedish Elite League, as he would not accept a demotion to the Milwaukee Admirals.
Ekholm needs to learn the North American game (the smaller rink, the north/south style of play, etc.). The only way to do that is to be in North America. The Predators AHL-affiliate, therefore, is the best place for him as it will help his long-term development. Electing for Brynas over Milwaukee basically stalls that development for another full year.
But don’t think that this is just a one way street. This choice hurts both parties involved.
Ekholm was named Rookie of the Year last year in what is generally regarded as the second best league in the world, the Swedish Elite League. There, he played against men as opposed to most players (in the same stage of their careers) playing against amateurs in junior or college. As a result, he was consid...