Mattias Janmark is becoming a hard player to keep off the scoresheet.
Janmark, who was passed over in the 2012 draft before being taken by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round (79th overall) last June, leads AIK of the Swedish Hockey League with 17 goals among 27 points in 35 games. Although he’s missed six contests due to injury, he is tied for 16th in league scoring and fifth for goals and is a threat to score every shift.
“Every team in the league, the coaches I’ve talked to all tell me, they have to look out for him and make sure their D know all about him, because he’s a threat when he has the puck,” said Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson. “You look away for a second and something is going on. He makes chances happen out of nothing.”
The 21-year-old forward’s success is a testament to his natural talent because he only started training his lower body this summer. According to Andersson, doctors had told Janmark to avoid it because of a knee injury he sustained when he was younger.
But after breaking out with 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in 55 games last season, earning an SHL nomination for rookie of the year, and being drafted by Detroit, he got the green light from doctors to undertake a full fitness regimen in the summer.
“From (ages) 16 to 20, he didn’t do all that stuff that every hockey player lives for in the summer,” Andersson said. “This is was his first summer with some kind of real training. Can you tell on the ice? A little bit. Does he need another summer or two? Yes, for sure. But now the knee has been examined, it’s OK … so there’s a lot more to come.”
Aside from strength and conditioning, Janmark will also need to work on his complete game, as his game is heavily weighted toward the offensive side.
But Janmark, who played center in junior but is now skating at left wing, reminds Andersson of Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist with his intense puck-hounding style.
“He gets to the net from anywhere — you give him the puck in the neutral zone with speed and he’s very dangerous, very tenacious on the puck in the offensive zone,” Andersson said. “Even if the team loses the puck, he’s often the guy to win it back in the offensive zone and make something happen. He’s a little bit like Nyquist when he’s on the game. He chases the puck, wins it back and then makes something happen all of a sudden.”
Janmark, who won the J-20 SuperElit scoring title in 2011-12, leads all SHL forwards in ice time with more than 20 minutes per game. He’s played on the Swedish national team and has a chance at being on the roster for the IIHF world championship.
NOTES: Andersson also weighed in on the slow adjustment to North America for prized Swedish prospect Calle Jarnkrok. “In some situations, he’s too easy to contain,” Andersson said. “If he had another 10 pounds on, he could break away a little easier and get more room for his skill and quick shot because he has a lot of good (offensive assets).” Andersson said a good summer of training will make a big difference. “Next year could be his year,” he said. “The way I see it, he’s one of the more talented prospects we have, but there’s work to be done, no doubt about it.” Jarnkrok has just 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points in 41 AHL games with Grand Rapids … Try and stop left-winger Andreas Athanasiou (Barrie, OHL). No, really. He’s absolutely ripping it up with 23 goal and 23 assists for 46 points in his past 27 games, while his 60 points in 41 games overall put him 11th in OHL scoring. He has seven goals and four assists in his past four games, including a four-goal outburst on Jan. 18 … Goaltender Jake Paterson (Saginaw, OHL) has been playing great since the world junior. He posted a 59-save win for the Spirit on Jan. 17 … Left-winger Marek Tvrdon (Kelowna, WHL) has a goal and is a plus-2 in his first two junior games. “There’s no doubt he’s a bigger guy with skill that we’re hoping he can do things well from the hashmarks in and provide offence for us,” Rockets head coach Dan Lambert told the Kelowna Capital News. “We certainly think he’ll help our power play. But also expect him to play a 200-foot game, be solid defensively and compete for pucks wherever he is on the ice.” … Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, to the Detroit Free Press, on the continued strong play of center/left-winger Riley Sheahan: “He looks good defensively, he looks good offensively. He looks like a good player, and he can skate.” … And on Tomas Jurco: “He can really skate. He can shoot the puck. He’s got a good skill set. Now he’s just got to learn to do it every day and be heavy while you do it in this league.” … Right-winger Martin Frk (Grand Rapids, AHL) recorded his first point, an assist, this week. It took him 19 games.
Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.
SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT
|Almquist, Adam||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||38||0||22||22||30||0||61|
|Callahan, Mitchell||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||41||16||8||24||37||+16||110|
|Jurco, Tomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||32||13||19||32||14||+10||91|
|Marchenko, Alexey||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||36||2||14||16||6||+18||26|
|Sheahan, Riley||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||28||8||10||18||10||+1||49|
|Sproul, Ryan||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||41||7||15||22||24||+14||92|
|Glendening, Luke||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||18||5||7||12||18||+8||26|
|Jarnkrok, Calle||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||41||10||7||17||12||+15||69|
|Pulkkinen, Teemu||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||41||13||18||31||20||+16||110|
|Frk, Martin||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||19||0||1||1||10||-7||20|
|Jensen, Nick||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||15||0||0||0||2||+2||8|
|Tvrdon, Marek||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||1||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Ferraro, Landon||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||38||8||13||21||29||+7||107|
|Aubry, Louis-Marc||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||7||0||0||0||5||-1||7|
|Fournier, Gleason||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||10||0||0||0||0||+3||6|
|Parkes, Trevor||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||9||0||0||0||4||-2||15|
|Nestrasil, Andrej||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||35||4||7||11||12||+1||30|
|Ouellet, Xavier||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||39||4||8||12||14||+12||52|
|Nedomlel, Richard||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||3||0||0||0||2||-2||1|
|Nastasiuk, Zach||Owen Sound||OHL||CHL||45||14||21||35||18||-9||–|
|McNulty, Marc||Prince George||WHL||CHL||43||10||16||26||69||-4||–|
|De Haas, James||Clarkson||ECAC||NCAA||22||2||6||8||10||-1||27|
|McKee, Mike||W. Michigan||BIG-10||NCAA||11||0||0||0||46||0||1|
|Pope, David||W. Kelowna||USHL/JR-A||JR-A||29||15||11||26||12||–||–|
GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT
|Coreau, Jared||Grand Rapids||AHL||3||0||2||0||0||4.01||.860|
|Mrazek, Petr||Grand Rapids||AHL||13||10||2||1||1||2.09||.927|
|McCollum, Thomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||29||17||8||1||1||2.11||.928|