Rangers loan Lias Andersson to HV71 in Swedish Hockey League

New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) and New York Rangers center Lias Andersson compete for the puck during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

The New York Rangers have loaned former first-round pick Lias Andersson to HV71 in the Swedish Hockey League.

Andersson, 21, returned home to Sweden at the end of December and requested a trade from the Rangers. Some mistranslated quotes out of Sweden seemed to suggest Andersson was dealing with some mental health issues but he denies that’s the case.

“I think the challenge will be trying to trade an asset at this point in time where he hasn’t met the promise that some drafted so high (do),” Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston said during a Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada in December. “But obviously he’s someone the Rangers can’t just give away for free.”

Before returning home, Andersson split time between between the Rangers and their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolfpack, each of the past three seasons. In 66 NHL games, the centre has three goals and nine points.

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