Jakub Lilja has returned to Sweden from the Russian KHL.
Swedish ice hockey player Jakob Lilja is leaving Russian KHL team Dinamo Moscow. Lilja had already returned to Sweden in March.
The Swedish player already wanted out of his contract with the Russian team in 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine.
However, this was not possible.
– I can’t afford to buy myself this. The amount exceeds my assets, Lilja told Expressen in 2022.
Lilja signed with Dinamo in February 2022, just before Russia invaded Ukraine. He played the last two seasons with the Kazakh KHL club Barys Nur-Sultan.
Lilja finds herself in a difficult position in Russia after a critical interview given to a Swedish magazine. The Russian players did not treat the Swede very well when they knew that Lilja did not want to stay in the Moscow team.
Lilja’s act was also viewed critically in the West because of Russia’s military actions.
Lilja describes the journey as a roller coaster.
– It is clear that my concentration was not at its best when I was there. It seemed that my thoughts were not always just about hockey. It has become difficult to concentrate, he told Expressen.
– I must say that otherwise the whole club has been very professional with good coaches and managers. There have been no complaints.
Lilja didn’t want to comment on what it was like to play in a country that had invaded Ukraine.
– I do not want and I cannot talk about our contract.
Lilja’s career continues somewhere in Europe, but there is no more detailed information about the country yet. He probably won’t play, at least not in Sweden.
During his career, Lilja has represented several different SHL teams, such as Linköping and Djurgårdens. He also played in 37 NHL games for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019–20 season.