His lack of size, strength and the Atlantic Ocean are all that’s between him and the NHL since he signed a three-year deal in the Swedish Hockey League.
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May 2019 – The intelligent 25-year-old defenseman had a solid seven goals and 17 assists in 42 Swedish Hockey League games for Linköping HC. He added a score and three helpers in eight international outings wearing the tre kronor (three crowns) for his country. After two shortened AHL campaigns, he returned home with a three-year deal, after which he would no longer be in Pittsburgh’s organization. At least the Penguins didn’t waste a draft pick on him. Mark Allan
June 2018 – After two frustrating campaigns in North America, Bengtsson signed a three-year contract with Linköping HC of the Swedish Hockey League. The skilled blueliner returns home after playing in just 53 AHL games due to symptoms from a circulatory disease called POTS Syndrome and two upper-body injuries. He combined for a goal and 20 assists for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins but never got into an NHL contest. Scheduled to become an RFA this off-season, Bengtsson will be an NHL UFA by the time his three-year SHL deal expires. Mark Allan
May 2018 – The slim Swede makes it easy to root for him. Symptoms that included elevated heart rate, lightheadedness, blurry vision and weakness led to an initial assessment of Lyme Disease before the poor guy was diagnosed with a circulatory malady called POTS Syndrome. Undeterred, he’s managing his symptoms and trying to make the most of his superior mobility, acceleration and on-ice vision. A wrist injury helped restrict him to 15 helpers in 37 AHL games, but the past season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton indicated the strong character of this determined 24-year-old. His dynamic skating and proficient one-timer could one day lead to an NHL PP role. Don’t count him out. Mark Allan
January 2018 – The mobile blueliner has already played four more games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton than he did in 2016-17 when a painful, exhausting condition called POTS Syndrome limited him to 16 outings. By nature a dynamic skater and point-producer, he has a modest nine assists this season, compared to a goal and five assists during the previous campaign. The Penguins (NHL and AHL) must be happy he’s playing at all, and are hoping for better days ahead. Mark Allan
September 2017 – The young Swede has more to prove than many of the other 20 players assigned en masse to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Diagnosed with a painful, exhausting condition called POTS Syndrome, he has to prove he can play effectively in the AHL in spite of the symptoms. The mass demotions leave 26 players in training camp before final cuts. Mark Allan
April 2017 – A mysterious ailment previously diagnosed as Lyme Disease and since identified as POTS Syndrome has put Bengtsson’s hockey career on hold. The Swedish blueliner managed to play in just 16 AHL games in his North American debut, registering a goal and five assists. The stats aren’t as impressive as the fact the small yet highly skilled player managed to play at all. After a three-minute cycling drill at Pittsburgh’s main training camp, he would lie on the floor for more than half an hour with dreadful pain in his legs. Tests at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic revealed POTS, a rare and complex ailment that Bengtsson believes has caused excessive weariness for several years. Mark Allan
February 2017 – Using his superior skating and smarts, Bengtsson is establishing a defense-first reputation in his AHL debut with a plus-14 rating in games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. A goal and five assists is decent offensive production for a Swede who is new to the North American game. Having apparently put Lyme Disease behind him, Bengtsson has a promising pro career ahead. The only thing that might keep him out of the NHL is his slight physique. Adding strength is a must. Mark Allan
November 2016 – The Swedish defenseman recorded his first North American point, an assist in a 4-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. It was the fourth AHL game for the dynamic if undersized blueliner since suffering a rumored case of Lyme disease. Mark Allan
October 2016 – Although he played well in a September prospects tournament, the dynamic offensive defenseman has not been in an NHL or AHL game yet this season because he reportedly has Lyme Disease, which humans acquire by being bitten by infected black-legged ticks. Symptoms typically include fatigue, fever, headache and a skin rash. If untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. The Swede clearly has to be healthy before he pursues his dream of playing in the NHL. Mark Allan
June 2016 – The undersized but skilled Swedish blueliner is expected to cross the Atlantic and play for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL He is also expected to demonstrate outstanding skating, which includes above-average agility and acceleration. Good at moving the puck up ice, Bengtsson’s hot one-timer and hockey IQ make him a power-play asset. He’s able to get back in time after an offensive foray, but he should add some muscle because life is hard in the NHL for 172-pound defensemen. Mark Allan
April 2016 – In a low-risk, high-payoff move, Pittsburgh signed the undersized but skilled blueliner to a two-year, entry-level contract. Before registering seven goals and seven assists this season in 30 games with Frölunda HC at the highest tier of Swedish hockey (adding seven points in 12 post-season games), the Stockholm native played the previous campaign one level below as an assistant captain with Mora IK in the popular Allsvenskan league. He parlayed dynamic skating, offensive creativity and a superior one-timer into eight goals and 31 points in 43 games.
Blessed with an array of point-producing skills, the 22-year-old is adept at rushing the puck up ice, and excels with a man advantage. He also is defensively responsible. Mark Allan