The Detroit Red Wings have recently reached an agreement with Swedish forward Jonatan Berggren on his entry-level contract. The former second-round NHL Entry Draft pick from the 2018 season. He was taken at 33rd overall, making him nearly a first-round pick.
The Detroit Red Wings also recently signed Finnish defenseman Eemil Viro to his entry-level contract as well. Besides that, the Red Wings have brought in a couple of different players already this offseason.
Amid the COVID-19 craziness that has changed the way the 2020-21 season looked, Berggren stayed over in Sweden for this season rather than coming over to North America. He was exceptional over in Sweden during the 2020-21 season for Skellefteå AIK.
He has spent most of his playing career with this organization, rising through the ranks from U16 on up to the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) level. The hope for Berggren should be that he can continue the roll he is on and carry success over into the North American leagues.
The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Jonatan Berggren to a three-year entry-level contract.
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In the 2020-21 season, Berggren logged 49 total games with Skellefteå AIK, where he had 12 goals and 33 assists for 45 total points. He was a plus-eleven on the year as well for Skellefteå AIK in terms of plus/minus.
This was a far cry from his 2019-20 performances as well. In 2019-20, Berggren played 24 games where he has two goals and ten assists for 12 total points. Much different at a half-point per game than his 0.92-point per game ratio from this season.
The forward has not been much of a scorer but still has found ways to get things going and help his team offensively.
It seems like Berggren will be more of a set-up man and playmaking forward who makes things happen for others in the offensive zone.
Berggren could very well be a premier set-up man for the Red Wings and the incoming flurry of talent. It may take some time, but once he gets to the NHL level, providing he continues to develop well, Berggren could be a solid playmaking winger to stick alongside players like Lucas Raymond or Filip Zadina.
Time will tell, the jump from the Swedish Hockey League to the North American leagues can be challenging for some of these Swedes, and for others, it is much smoother.
Originally, I was not too high on Berggren. Detroit Jock City co-expert Bob Heyrman and I had many debates about him when we put together a list of the Top 20 Detroit Red Wings prospects before the 2019-20 season.
However, I will say Bob was right, the kid figured it out over in the SHL, and the hope should be that he continues to be exceptional when he finally arrives overseas.