Huge Development For Oliver Kylington in Calgary

Often overlooked in all the Calgary Flames rumors of the ongoing disassembling of their defensive corps, is the fact that promising blueliner Oliver Kylington, who missed all of last season due to mental health issues, has been lurking in the background. 

Today, he took a major step into the foreground, as the 26-year-old was back on the ice with his Flames teammates at Calgary's Max Bell Centre.  

There's still no definitive timeline for his return to the lineup, but this is a huge step forward for the former 2nd-round pick. He has been skating with a trainer, on his own, for weeks.

Kylington chose to sit out the 2022-23 season due to mental health struggles and a family situation, but was looking forward to returning sometime this campaign.

I love to play hockey and that’s all I want to do, (and) I’m happy now (to be) feeling better and I can focus on the right things,” Kylington told this summer. “I’m doing really well right now."

The Swedish defenseman is also on an expiring pact this season, and is due to become an unrestricted free agent, like his blueline mates Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev (while Nikita Zadorov is off to Vancouver, traded Thursday).

 Kylington had a strong breakthrough season for the Flames in 2021-22, posting 31 points in 73 games with a robust plus/minus of +34, playing about 18 minutes per night. 

We'll have to follow his progress to see if he's able to re-establish his value, either for a Calgary extension, or for next summer's open market. 

Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports