Figren graduates to Isles

JASON HILLS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

The face of the Edmonton Oil Kings won't be back for one final season.

It was widely expected Robin Figren would sign this off-season with the New York Islanders and yesterday Figren did, beginning a new chapter in his hockey career.

"It's a proud day in Oil Kings history," said Oil Kings assistant general manager Randy Hansch.

"We are very happy for Robin (Figren). He worked very hard in trying to make this happen and this will no doubt be a big day for him."

Figren, 20, signed a three-year entry level contract with the Islanders.

New York drafted Figren in the third round, 70th overall in the 2006 NHL entry draft.

The Oil Kings' leading goal scorer will return to his native Sweden this season, where he'll suit up with Djurgardens of the Swedish Elite League.

The Islanders plan to bring Figren over to North America after next season.

"That could be a new trend for some teams to do with some of their European players," said Hansch in regards to Figren going back to Sweden for one season instead of playing in the American Hockey League.

Figren enjoyed a breakout year in his second season in the Western Hockey League. After spending his rookie campaign with the Calgary Hitmen, Figren provided the Oil Kings much needed offence as well as leadership.

Despite playing just 35 games for the Oil Kings, he made a big impact on the franchise.

"He meant a lot to this organization," said Hansch.

"Hockey aside, he is a great person with a tremendous amount of character."

Figren missed the start of the 2007-08 campaign with a groin injury and then also missed the final 19 games with a broken wrist. He also missed time while taking part in the 2008 World Junior tournament in the Czech Republic where he helped Sweden to a silver medal.

In 35 games with the Oil Kings, Figren had 31 points.

"Despite the injuries, Robin had an incredible year," said Hansch.


Videos

Photos