Former 50 point defenseman leaves NHL at just 33 years old

Man… tough to get a contract these days!

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According to multiple online reports, former Winnipeg Jets and Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom is expected to sign a contract with his hometown MODO Hockey Club in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.

Check it out:

Tobias Enstrom has been practicing  with Modo in the SHL. The team wants him to decide in the next week whether he will sign with them for the season, or leave and attempt to find a suitor in the NHL. The unrestricted free agent did not comment. (credit: Aftonbladet)

The 33 year old Enstrom was left unsigned by the Jets this offseason after seemingly having a falling out with the team’s coaching and management staff following a frustrating season. Enstrom was a frequent healthy scratch under head coach Paul Maurice and evidently he was not pleased with the decision. He managed just one goal and six points in 43 regularly season games. That’s a far cry from his career high of 10 goals and 51 points in 72 games during the 2010-11 season back when the team was still in Atlanta. In fact, Enstrom has topped the 50 point mark twice in his career and has eclipsed 30 point mark six times in his 11 year NHL career. In total the 5 foot, 10 inch, 180 pound blue liner had 54 goals and 308 points in 719 career regular season NHL games. 

Enstrom, chosen in the 8th round (239th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, was a staple of the Thrashers/Jets blue line for nearly a decade before being pushed out by younger players like Jacob Trouba, Josh Morrissey and Ben Chiarot in recent years. By the end of the 2017-18 season, there was simply no room left for the aging Swedish defenseman on the Jets’ blue line. With Dustin Byfuglien, Trouba, Tyler Myers, Dmitry Kulikov, Morrissey and Chiarot all holding down spots on the depth chart ahead of Enstrom, something had to give. The surprising thing isn’t that he’s no longer with the Jets, it’s that he’s out of the NHL entirely.

For what it’s worth, Enstrom’s younger brother Tommy, a forward, plays with MODO and managed five points in 27 games with the team last season, its second season in the Swedish Allsvenskan, the second division of professional hockey in Sweden.