January 04, 2016

Alexander Urbom

Alexander Urbom was a hefty stay at home defenseman from Sweden. The New Jersey Devils selected the Djurgardens IF junior 73rd overall in the 2009 NHL draft.

Urbom tried to fast track his development into a NHL defender by immediately leaving Sweden to continue his junior career in Canada. Urbom joined the Brandon Wheat Kings for the 2009-10 season, helping the Wheaties reach the Memorial Cup final game.

The move to Brandon was not without controversy. He was not returned to the Sweden's national junior team for the 2010 World Junior Championships, a mild surprised that was seen by some as punishment for leaving the Swedish system.

Urbom turned pro the following year and surprised many by earning a spot on the Devils' roster immediately out of training camp. The 19 year old would only get into six contests before reporting to the minor leagues for the balance of the season, though he did a couple more looks in call-up games. That included the final game of the regular season, where Urbom scored his first NHL goal. It also happened to be the game winning goal that night.

The imposing but physically-reluctant defender continued to develop in the minor leagues, rarely getting called up by the Devils. By 2013-14 Urbom had played enough games in the minors that he was required to pass waivers if the Devils tried to demote him again. This allowed Urbom the chance to catch on another with another NHL team and earn a NHL paycheck.

The Washington Capitals claimed Urbom out of training camp in 2013. He would play 20 games with the Capitals, scoring one goal and one assist, while averaging under 15 minutes per game.

Mid-season the Capitals tried sending him to their farm team, but again he required waivers. The Devils reclaimed him, and because they were the only team to put in a claim, were allowed to send him to the minor leagues right away.

Unhappy with the lifestyle of long bus rides on the road to uncertainty in the minor leagues, Urbom opted to head to Europe in 2015.

No comments: