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Top prospect Jarnkrok ready for duty?

Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 2:28 p.m. under RWC Rankings
Calle Janrkok

Calle Janrkok (Credit: Brynas IF)

The Detroit Red Wings are convinced Calle Jarnkrok will be a productive centre in the NHL. The bigger question is, when will he make the leap?

Already in the first season of his three-year entry-level NHL contract playing for Brynas of the Swedish Elite League, Jarnkrok — ranked No. 1 in Red Wings Central’s mid-season prospect ranking — could crack Detroit’s lineup as early as this fall.

In large part, that will depend on how well he performs at the IIHF world championship in May, assuming he makes Team Sweden.

“We’ll see how he finishes,” said Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson. “We all feel he’s a top-six forward in the long run. He’s a smart player, he works really hard, he’s got good hands, good hockey sense. Adapting to the game, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

Jarnkrok, compared by the Red Wings to Henrik Zetterberg, tied for 14th in Elite League scoring last season with 39 points in 50 games and helped Brynas win a championship. This season, Brynas has struggled with the losses of several key players, including Jarnkrok’s linemate, Jakob Silfverberg.

The 5-foot-11 174-pounder worked with a personal trainer this summer and got stronger. He leads Brynas in scoring with 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points in 46 games and sits 10th on the league’s points list.

“I feel when I see him, he’s the same kind of player (as last season) and he looks stronger,” Andersson said. “He’s done fine scoring-wise, but the team is struggling and I know that’s very frustrating for him.”

Jarnkrok held off the emerging goaltender Petr Mrazek for top spot on the RWC mid-season list, while forwards Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan and defenseman Ryan Sproul round out the top five.

01. C Calle Jarnkrok (–), Brynas (SEL), 46-11-24-35-12, -6, 122 SOG. See above.

02. G Petr Mrazek (–), Grand Rapids (AHL), 16-7-1, 1 SO, 2.26 GAA, .916 SV%. Nothing about the pros has fazed Mrazek, the franchise’s goaltender of the future.

03. LW Tomas Tatar (–), Grand Rapids (AHL), 44-19-20-39-44, plus-13, 147 SOG. The Red Wings’ surplus of forwards is the only thing keeping Tatar out of the NHL.

04. C Riley Sheahan (–), Grand Rapids (AHL), 42-13-10-23-25, plus-13, 67 SOG. He’s having a terrific AHL rookie campaign, aside from an embarrassing off-ice incident.

05. D Ryan Sproul (+1), Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 34-17-30-47-33, plus-4. He just keeps scoring and his upside rivals that of any prospect in the system.

06. RW Tomas Jurco (-1), Grand Rapids (AHL), 42-6-5-11-80, minus-5, 54 SOG. It’s easy to forget he just turned 20. He has size and first-round skill level.

07. D Xavier Ouellet (–), Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL), 34-7-24-31-32, plus-16, 117 SOG. World junior was a huge development opportunity for the two-way defender.

08. D Mattias Backman (+6), Linkoping (SEL), 45-1-20-21-30, plus-8, 55 SOG. Mobility, size, smarts and offensive skill: Backman is putting it all together.

09. C Landon Ferraro (-1), Grand Rapids (AHL), 44-16-17-33-31, even, 98 SOG. He’s making people remember why he was a consensus first-rounder in his draft year.

10. C Joakim Andersson (-1), Grand Rapids (AHL), 35-10-17-27-55, even, 81 SOG. Like Tatar, he probably could be playing in the NHL right now but is buried by depth.

11. D Brian Lashoff (NR), Grand Rapids (AHL), 36-2-4-6-23, plus-4, 38 SOG. Averaging 17 minutes in five NHL games and looking like a useful, cap-friendly No. 6-8 defenseman.

12. LW Teemu Pulkkinen (–), Helsinki Jokerit (FIN), 49-12-16-28-41, plus-3, 218 SOG. Sniper-to-be has finally found his stride after an early-season slump.

13. RW Martin Frk (-3), Halifax (QMJHL), 37-21-33-54-68, plus-20, 110 SOG. Very similar to Pulkkinen, but not doing it at as high a level.

14. G Jake Paterson (-3), Saginaw (OHL), 17-13-2, 2 SO, 3.45 GAA, .902 SV%. Showing great potential, Paterson gives the Red Wings good organizational depth in goal.

15. D Alexey Marchenko (+5), CSKA Moscow (KHL), 42-4-5-9-6, even, 45 SOG. The two-way defenseman is expected to sign and play in the AHL next season.

16. D Adam Almquist (-3), Grand Rapids (AHL), 41-6-12-18-24, plus-6, 57 SOG. Adjusting to North America, but size and foot-speed concerns hold him back.

17. LW Andreas Athanasiou (–), Barrie (OHL), 48-21-30-51-26, plus-12. An incredibly fast skater, Athanasiou has bounced back from a disappointing draft year.

18. LW Marek Tvrdon (-2), Vancouver (WHL), 18-8-14-22-16, plus-2. A season-ending injury will hurt his development, but he has size, skill and an NHL contract.

19. C Alan Quine (–), Belleville (OHL), 36-13-32-45-14, minus-2. He’s been lighting it up since a January trade and is making a strong push for a contract.

20. D Nick Jensen (-5), St. Cloud State (NCAA), 28-3-18-21-10, plus-13, 41 SOG. The potential is there, but as a college junior, his production has slipped.


  1. YVR says:

    Not to late, only at 10 minute mark of 1st, to see Frk on Sportsnet. He has great linemates in Drouin and MacKinnon who probably go in top 5 in upcoming draft.

  2. Shawn says:

    YVR, thanks for pointing that out. I misspoke. I meant juniors. I believe this ranking system is based partly on potential and partly on NHL-readiness/ chances a player will make it to the NHL. So, he may have a ton of potential, but if he’s still years away from making it to the NHL, it is very difficult to stay near the top of this list.

    Levi, Rundblad would be a killer pick-up, IMO. The others you mentioned too would be great additions, of course, but would cost a ton… I like Rundblad’s upside. It’s hard to say he could be an Erik Karlsson, but… he put up 50 points in 55 games in the SEL a couple of years ago… as a defenseman! He has defensive slip-ups, but most young, offensive D do. He would be the best of the bunch (points-wise) for the long-haul, IMO, and would come at a lower price. I had no idea he was on the block.

  3. RW19 says:

    Interesting trade talk. I just cxan see Calgary and Phoenix dealing within the conference.

    I haven’t heard a rumor like this anywhere, but I keep thinking about one team that looks totally out of sorts: the Washington Capitals. I’ve heard a few times that they really want to shake things up there and that brings me to one player that I think would greatly interest Detroit, defenseman Mike Green. He’s really the only big contract they can deal.

    He’s expensive at 6 mil/season but that deal runs out in 2015. He’s a RH shot, great skater and puck mover. Caps already have other good d-men in Carlson, Alzner, Erskine. He’s the kind of guy that Kenny Holland would look for in years gone by. Only question is the injury history.

  4. RW19 says:

    That second sentence should read “i just can’t see … “

  5. Shawn says:

    Won’t be any trades to bring guys in if our D keep playing the way they have been. If anything, we could move one or two out. We lost JoeyMac and I wager to say by the end of the year we may lose another forward and maybe even a D. Quick Launch

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