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Jarnkrok scoring outburst ‘just a matter of time’

Published Monday, February 3, 2014, 11:57 a.m. under 2013-14 RWC Reports
Calle Jarnkrok

Calle Jarnkrok (Credit: Mark Newman)

Calle Jarnkrok refuses to cheat — and while that’s a good thing for an organization built around elite two-way players, it’s a bad thing for his stats.

The 22-year-old center, who arrived in North America on the heels of a top-10 finish in Swedish Hockey League scoring, has struggled to duplicate that offensive success in his first full American Hockey League season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. So far, he has just 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points in 44 games.

“He’s such a complete player, so, so well-rounded in his game, that he never cheats at all offensively,” said Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill. “When you’re going from a bigger sheet (of ice) to playing on a smaller sheet and the NHL style, you have to learn to create the same offense. But because he’s such a complete player, he’s not willing to do it without sacrificing the defense. That makes the transition for those well-rounded offensive guys a little bit longer. But it’s just a matter of time, in my opinion.”

Before coming to Grand Rapids, Jarnkrok — who the Detroit Red Wings drafted 51st overall in 2010 — had 39 points in 50 games for Brynas in 2011-12 (14th in the SHL). He followed that up with 42 points in 53 games in 2012-13 (tied for eighth). He also played for Sweden at the 2012 and 2013 IIHF world championships.

The 6-foot, 180-pounder’s NHL upside lies somewhere between a Valtteri Filppula and a Henrik Zetterberg. He works hard and plays a 200-foot game, but also skates well, is strong on the puck, has quick hands and high-level hockey sense.

Blashill said Jarnkrok has shown “flashes of real, real high-end skill.”

“He’s extremely talented with a very, very good brain for the game,” Blashill said.

One thing that will help Jarnkrok be more impactful in North America is added strength. Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson said in early January that Jarnkrok could stand to gain 10 more pounds and Blashill concurs.

“It’s a matter of learning to create the same space here that he had naturally on the bigger sheet,” Blashill said. “That’s going to be done with his brain, and also with his off-ice work, getting stronger, getting bigger, getting thicker.”

Regardless of that fact that Jarnkrok’s production is a little less than hoped, he’s played a big role in the Griffins’ second-overall record of 29-13-4.

“I’ve been extremely pleased with him,” Blashill said. “He’s been a big factor in us winning lots of games and his production will follow as the year continues.”

NOTES: Defenseman Adam Almquist (Grand Rapids, AHL) has two goals and 10 assists in his past seven games to climb into a tie for sixth in league scoring among blueliners. Overall, he has two goals and 30 assists in 43 games. Blashill said he’d like to see Almquist improve the Griffins’ power play by a couple of percentage points — it’s sixth in the league at 20.8 per cent — down the stretch. He added that the 5-foot-11 178-pounder needs to get stronger to make the Red Wings out of camp next season. “He’s got a body type that’s not easy to add mass to,” Blashill said. “He’s got to continue to get stronger and that will be a big key for him.” … Right-winger Martin Frk (Grand Rapids, AHL) continues to struggle, with just two assists in 24 games as a rookie pro. Blashill said Frk has been hurt by the Griffins’ deep roster and noted he needs to learn to play with pace. “He needs to make sure when he gets the puck, he’s got to move his feet,” Blashill said. “He has a habit of standing still and (playing) the game slow, where in the AHL and certainly in the NHL, you have to play fast and get moving — otherwise people are on top of you too quickly.” … Winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Grand Rapids, AHL) has five goals and four assists in his past five games and his team-leading 40 points in 46 games puts him in a tie for 11th in league scoring … Defenseman Ben Marshall (Minnesota, NCAA) was suspended for the second time this season for one game for a hit to the head … Goaltender Jake Paterson (Saginaw, OHL) posted his second shutout since returning from the IIHF world junior championship in early January, a 29-save win over Belleville. He’s 7-3 with a .928 save percentage in the new year … Defenseman Mitchell Wheaton (Kelowna, WHL) earned high praise from his head coach, Dan Lambert, this week. Wheaton has 23 points and a plus-19 ranking in 37 games for the powerful Rockets. “You see how much game sense he has,” Lambert told the Kelowna Capital News. “Typically guys his size are more physical and play that big, more brutal game. Mitch does have some of that, but certainly his biggest asset is his vision and his ability to break pucks out of our end.” … Winger Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph, OHL) hasn’t played since early December with a head/neck injury and could miss another two to six weeks, according to the Guelph Mercury. The injury is not a concussion, according to the report, but it’s the same injury that forced him to miss 25 games last season. “He’s making very good progress, but there is no exact return date at this point,” Storm general manager Mike Kelly told the paper. “He’s a huge part of the team and we want him back, but the most important thing is his health,” head coach Scott Walker added. Bertuzzi has 35 points in 29 games.

Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.


Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 43 2 30 32 38 +2 76
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 46 18 8 26 37 +16 130
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 32 13 19 32 14 +10 91
Marchenko, Alexey Grand Rapids AHL PRO 41 2 15 17 10 +14 30
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 28 8 10 18 10 +1 49
Sproul, Ryan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 46 8 15 23 30 +8 104
Glendening, Luke Grand Rapids AHL PRO 18 5 7 12 18 +8 26
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL PRO 46 10 14 24 14 +14 75
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL PRO 46 18 22 40 24 +15 134
Frk, Martin Grand Rapids AHL PRO 24 0 2 2 12 -13 24
Jensen, Nick Grand Rapids AHL PRO 19 0 0 0 2 +2 12
Tvrdon, Marek Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL PRO 43 11 13 24 29 +1 122
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL PRO 12 1 0 1 12 -2 13
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL PRO 11 0 0 0 0 +3 6
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL PRO 13 1 1 2 4 +1 20
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL PRO 40 5 8 13 12 -1 42
Ouellet, Xavier Grand Rapids AHL PRO 43 4 9 13 20 +6 57
Nedomlel, Richard Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 0 0 2 -2 1
Parkes, Trevor Toledo ECHL PRO 27 17 17 34 20 0 106
Frk, Martin Toledo ECHL PRO 15 5 8 13 10 -11 27
Nicastro, Max Toledo ECHL PRO 40 0 13 13 20 -10 82
Nedomlel, Richard Toledo ECHL PRO 29 6 4 10 86 -2 38
Tvrdon, Marek Toledo ECHL PRO 22 9 4 13 6 -8 59
Aubry, Louis-Marc Toledo ECHL PRO 18 7 7 14 10 -4 62
Jensen, Nick Toledo ECHL PRO 3 0 0 0 0 -2 4
Mantha, Anthony Val-d’Or QMJHL CHL 41 42 46 88 44 +16 223
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 40 14 5 19 46 -6 88
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 46 32 36 68 40 +19
Nastasiuk, Zach Owen Sound OHL CHL 49 16 22 38 18 -13
Bertuzzi, Tyler Guelph OHL CHL 29 10 25 35 49 +9
McNulty, Marc Prince George WHL CHL 50 13 19 32 92 -2
Wheaton, Mitchell Kelowna WHL CHL 37 5 18 23 26 +19
Tvrdon, Marek Kelowna WHL CHL 9 3 2 5 2 +1
Janmark, Mattias AIK SEL EUR 36 17 10 27 52 -5 87
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 45 5 12 17 8 +22 57
Melen, Hampus Tingsryds SWE-J20 EUR-JR 11 0 5 5 14 -6 17
Bodin, Rasmus Linkoping SWE-J20 EUR-JR 14 0 2 2 2 -3 5
De Haas, James Clarkson ECAC NCAA 26 2 6 8 14 -6 33
Marshall, Ben Minnesota BIG-10 NCAA 24 3 9 12 48 +7 48
McKee, Mike W. Michigan BIG-10 NCAA 11 0 0 0 46 0 1
Pope, David W. Kelowna USHL/JR-A JR-A 34 18 14 32 12


Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 33 18 12 2 2 3.41 .909
Coreau, Jared Grand Rapids AHL 3 0 2 0 0 4.01 .860
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 14 11 2 1 1 2.07 .928
Coreau, Jared Toledo ECHL 10 1 6 3 0 4.28 .867
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 32 18 9 1 2 2.32 .922
  1. Patrick says:

    zach, i agree, but i would rather see alfie on ur second line and bump Abby down to the 4th…

  2. Patrick says:

    Who of the non-waiver exempt would you then keep? Callahan? or Farraro?

  3. ScottD says:

    I’d keep both Callahan and Ferraro. Between those two I would assume one would play and the other would sit as a healthy scratch. Then they would alternate. But I have a feeling if Holland makes a trade Callahan would most likely be part of any trade they make unfortunately.

  4. Daryl says:

    Not sure if anyone else saw this, but ESPN did a ranking of the top 50 NHL prospects which included 3 of our guys in Jarnkrok, Mantha, and Jurco at 24, 25 and 28. The actual article is for insiders only, but here’s a link to show what was said.

    Happy to see Jarnkrok still ranked as high as he is, despite the season he’s been having. I really think he’ll break out next year with another good offseason of strength training. I would have liked to see Mantha higher, however I imagine that’s not a knock on him just that he needs to sustain the success longer and at a higher level. Next year should be huge for him as well.

  5. Patrick says:

    I agree… I don’t believe I ever said Jarnkrok wouldn’t make it to the NHL or that he was garbage… I believe I only said that he is not performing at the level he could be… which is in large part due to the fact that there are 4 NHL players in GR…

  6. Patrick says:

    Filppula and Mikko Koivu dropped out of the Olympics… I hope they pick Teemu Pulkinnen if they havent chosen someone already…

  7. klowntown says:

    pulkkinen at the olympics? overrate your own prospects much? lol. not even on the radar.

  8. Adam Banks says:

    Hate to agree, but i think Klown has something there. Maybe eventually, but I don’t see it yet. Although, the experience of the larger ice could be a draw…….we shall see.

  9. jes me says:

    I’m sure finland will go with two of their reserves before they pick an AHLer.

  10. Patrick says:

    they picked 2 dudes from Finland from the KHL Jarkko Immonen & Sakari Salminen in … the experience was exactly what I was talking about… there are plenty of AHLers in the Olympics… yeah Pulk was probly far from a selection, but he should have been considered after Sean Bergenheim turned it down. The guys they picked are pretty good in the KHL, so maybe I am wrong, but I think that if Pulk went there he would be doing something similar…

  11. Patrick says:

    this is all moot though… this is the last olympics for the NHL for the foreseeable future. The World Cup of Hockey is back starting in 2016… (sorry that this post has NOTHING to directly do with prospects, so here is a bit)

    in 2016 of our prospects: Jurko, Sheahan, Jarnkrok, Pulkinnen, Mrazek, Mantha, Tvrdon, Janmark, Almquist, Marchenko, Sproul, and Oulette may all have a chance to play in the World Cup in a few years…. Quick Launch

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