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Moving on from Jarnkrok

Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 12:33 p.m. under 2013-14 RWC Reports
Calle Jarnkrok

Calle Jarnkrok (Credit: Mark Newman)

The trading of Calle Jarnkrok has been the subject of much debate since the Detroit Red Wings sent the Swedish center to the Nashville Predators to acquire veteran David Legwand.

Did the Red Wings sell off a critical piece of their future for a short-term patch job? Or was Jarnkrok an expendable asset because of the organization’s impressive depth?

The fact is, the Red Wings gave up a solid prospect who has potential to be a second-line NHL center in the mold of Valtteri Filppula. As general manager Ken Holland conceded to, “I think he’s going to play in the NHL.” But as much potential as Jarnkrok has to be an NHL contributor some day, he also wasn’t ready to play in Detroit — not now, and very likely not next fall.

Jarnkrok, a former Swedish Hockey League star with Brynas who the Red Wings drafted 51st overall in 2010, was in the midst of his first American Hockey League season with the Grand Rapids Griffins and his adjustment to North America was not as smooth as expected.

At age 22, his offensive production — 36 points in 57 games — was less than hoped, even with 19 points in his 16 games before the trade. And at six feet and 188 pounds, he was too easily knocked off the puck. At the same time, Jarnkrok is an outstanding defensive forward who works hard every shift.

Before the trade, the Red Wings were hoping a good off-season in the gym might result in Jarnkrok having a breakout AHL year in 2014-15. But with so many centers in the organization — Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zettberberg, Stephen Weiss, Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening and now Legwand — the Red Wings, when even remotely healthy, would have been a hard squad for Jarnkrok to crack. Sheahan’s emergence as a solid NHLer only exacerbated the issue.

“Going into September … we just thought it was going to be difficult for him to crack our team,” Holland told Sportsnet.

There were also rumblings Jarnkrok might have been unhappy with spending another season earning $67,500 in the minors, and that Brynas might try to lure him back home with a much more lucrative contract. TSN indicated Jarnkrok was considering a return to Sweden, while John Niyo of the Detroit News said that while no trade request was made, Jarnkrok and his agent were “antsy.”

The Predators, meanwhile, don’t have as much depth at center as the Red Wings and will give Jarnkrok every opportunity to crack their roster next fall.

“I think he’s a player who has a really good chance to compete for a job next year,” Predators general manager David Poile told the Nasvhille Tennessean. “This kid has terrific hockey sense, great hands. He’s a really good skater and a really good competitor.”

Legwand wasn’t going to be acquired for a song after 16 years as the face of the Predators franchise, and he helped the Red Wings plug a hole at center caused by a deluge of injuries. If he finishes strong, there appears to be a decent chance he’ll re-sign in Detroit, which would lessen the blow of losing a top prospect.

The trade leaves the Red Wings with only two legitimate NHL prospects at the center position: speedy Landon Ferraro, a two-way player in Grand Rapids who has struggled offensively, and highly-skilled Swede Mattias Janmark. Expect them to invest in a few centers on draft day to lead the next generation.

NOTES: The Hockey News released its annual Future Watch prospect rankings prior to the Legwand trade and the Red Wings were the only franchise with five prospects rated in the top 75 — Anthony Mantha (10th), Tomas Jurco (32nd), Jarnkrok (41st), Xavier Ouellet (63rd) and Riley Sheahan (66th). Inexplicably omitted was goaltender Petr Mrazek, who THN only ranked seventh among Red Wings prospects. It’s hard to reason that one … Regarding Mantha, Holland told TSN the big, skilled winger is “untouchable.” “We want to develop him into a Red Wing.” Mantha has all but clinched the QMJHL scoring crown with 115 points in 55 games … Left-winger David Pope (West Kelowna, BCHL) was named a BCHL second-team all-star. He overcame early-season injuries to light it up with 27 goals among 50 points in 45 games … Winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Grand Rapids, AHL) lost his linemate when Jarnkrok was traded but still managed to break Justin Abdelkader’s franchise rookie scoring record with his 25th goal of the season on March 7. Pulkkinen is tied for fifth in the league in goals with 26 and his team-leading 51 points are 14th in the circuit and second among rookies … Right-winger Zach Nastasiuk (Owen Sound, OHL) has picked up his offensive game, with six goals and three assists in his past four games … Defenseman Mattias Backman (Linkoping, SHL) saw his regular season come to a close last week. Backman’s plus-25 rating was No. 1 in the SHL while his 21 points in 54 games ranked 13th among defensemen. Linkoping is in a best-of-three play-in series with MoDo in its bid to make the playoffs … Mike McKee (Western Michigan, NCAA) has been converted from defense to forward. He missed a number of games earlier this season to ease the adjustment. “Mike has worked extremely hard, and we have been doing extra sessions with him,” head coach Andy Murray told “We decided that rather than have him play games and him not totally being ready, we would give him extra skill sessions … it looks like it’s paying dividends.”

Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.


Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 57 3 39 42 52 +7 109
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 60 21 12 33 51 +20 163
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 32 13 19 32 14 +10 91
Marchenko, Alexey Grand Rapids AHL PRO 49 3 15 18 14 +11 34
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 31 8 10 18 12 -2 51
Sproul, Ryan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 58 8 16 24 38 +3 121
Glendening, Luke Grand Rapids AHL PRO 18 5 7 12 18 +8 26
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL PRO 57 13 23 36 14 +19 99
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL PRO 60 26 25 51 30 +20 175
Frk, Martin Grand Rapids AHL PRO 37 2 5 7 20 -11 32
Jensen, Nick Grand Rapids AHL PRO 30 0 4 4 6 +11 23
Tvrdon, Marek Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL PRO 57 13 14 27 40 0 158
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL PRO 25 1 0 1 14 -3 32
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL PRO 15 0 1 1 0 +4 8
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL PRO 25 3 2 5 17 +2 39
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL PRO 54 7 13 20 16 0 73
Ouellet, Xavier Grand Rapids AHL PRO 55 4 12 16 20 +2 68
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 52 0 15 15 28 -14 102
Nedomlel, Richard Toledo ECHL PRO 44 7 8 15 114 -6 72
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 55 56 59 115 71 +30 281
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 54 19 11 30 71 -1 121
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 63 46 41 87 52 +21
Nastasiuk, Zach Owen Sound OHL CHL 59 23 28 51 26 -14
Bertuzzi, Tyler Guelph OHL CHL 29 10 25 35 49 +9
McNulty, Marc Prince George WHL CHL 65 17 23 40 113 -11
Wheaton, Mitchell Kelowna WHL CHL 53 7 21 28 36 +27
Tvrdon, Marek Kelowna WHL CHL 25 11 12 23 18 +5
Janmark, Mattias AIK SEL EUR 45 18 12 30 56 -6 99
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 54 6 15 21 16 +25 68
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 35 5 7 12 16 -11 45
Marshall, Ben Minnesota BIG-10 NCAA 32 3 14 17 54 +10 65
McKee, Mike W. Michigan BIG-10 NCAA 17 1 0 1 52 -3 7
Pope, David W. Kelowna BCHL USHL/JR-A 45 27 23 50 20


Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 43 23 17 2 2 3.36 .908
Coreau, Jared Grand Rapids AHL 5 0 4 0 0 4.39 .873
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 24 18 5 1 2 2.01 .928
Coreau, Jared Toledo ECHL 17 1 11 4 0 4.20 .872
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 37 19 11 2 2 2.32 .922


Pope, David W. Kelowna BCHL USHL/JR. A 5 2 4 6 2
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR-PRO 1 0 1 1 0 +1 1
  1. Patrick says:

    actually, you are 100% correct that no one is a sure shot in the NHL… do your research man… not every first rounder makes it to the NHL… and actually it is around 50% on them… second rounders drops and so on and so forth… Mantha has a good chance of being in Detroit THIS year after his season is over, so don’t count that out… Sproul and Oullette both may be another 2 years away from being ready considering the current roster and needs. We don’t need bottom 2 defenseman, we need top 4, and both of them would be exactly that for the next 2 years more than likely.

    I for one do think there is a GOOD chance to have a shot at the cup, as long as we get into the playoffs… Hank, Pav, Weiss, and Helm will all be back within a week of the playoffs starting… think of our depth when they get back! Besides, it isn’t always the best team that wins the cup, it is the team that gets hottest at the right point.

    As for him “signing as a UFA this summer”… just because he is from Michigan does not mean he would automatically be a Red Wing…. actually it isn’t even close to being that… everybody just wants that paycheck… so if a Minnesota offers him an extra dime, whos to say he wouldnt take it? You?

  2. Patrick says:

    Bleacher Report ranked prospects by which organization has the best…
    1. Buffalo
    2. Tampa Bay
    3. Anaheim
    4. New York Islanders
    5. Dallas
    6. Detroit

    names Mrazek the top prospect and Mantha after him… I quote “The best-run prospect system in the NHL”

  3. Steve says:

    Lmao do my research I’m well aware not everyone makes it in the nhl , doesn’t mean you should give away a top prospect for a ufa that’s what bothers me the most ,if your gonna think like that then we might as well trade every kid we got with loads of potential cause they might never turn out to be anything good

    As for mantha no way in hell he comes to detroit this year , only way I see it happening is if we’re out of the playoff hunt with say 5 games remaining and they wanna see what he does

    I been pushing for us to call up some kids for a while rather than always recalling Emmerton . Callahan and Ferraro are out of waivers next year I’d rather they come up for a game or 2

    I do think once were all in the lineup and healthy we can compete ,but no way in hell those guys would return 100% so I don’t think is is our year add to that weiss has been a disaster thus far … On the plus side he can’t be any worse

    Legwand had to waive his no trade clause to come to detroit so I do think he was gonna come back , he’s getting up in age so maybe he wanted to come back to his family. We’ll never know for certain now but that’s just my belief

    And yes I know we got a lot of good prospects in our organization my beef is I just don’t think we should just basically give them away , if we trade for a top dman were gonna now lose an extra really good prospect than we needed to

  4. omg says:

    did someone really just quote bleacher report? lolololololol

  5. StevieY says:

    We are now more than a week removed from the trade deadline. The Jarkrok deal is done. Lets move onto more pressing issues. Mantha is unable to play any NHL games until Grand Rapids season is over. If he is to play after Val D’or is eliminated, it would be with Grand Rapids. The same can be said regrading Athanasiou. Why argue about things you can’t cotrol boys. Either the Wings make the playoffs or they don’t. It’s so close the Wings need to win some games in a hurry. If they miss the playoffs, they could get a pick in the range of 5-13 in the first round. This is a pretty deep draft with players like Bennett in Kingston, Reinhart in Kootenay, Ekblad from Barrie, Perlini from Niagara, Dal Colle from Oshawa, Goldobin from Sarnia, Ehlers from Halifax. Also, keep an eye on Gazzola from Val D’or. He is a 20 year old defenseman who plays with Mantha. He is a free agent and is right shot dman who is 6’2 228 lbs who has accumulated 16-57-73 points in 66 games. Best kept secret in the QMJHL.

  6. Patrick says:

    as a matter of fact, yes… and I do know they don’t know a whole lot about sports… kinda off the wall… but I agree with that post…

  7. Patrick says:

    whoa, lets not make one of those have too much sense moments…

  8. akscott says:

    I watched Jarnkrok all season in GR, and never once felt like he was a potential 2nd line center in the mold of Valteri Filpula. Never looked like Zetterberg light either (maybe Zetterberg extra-light). David Legwand is a much better hockey player. If he re-ups, this ends up a no brainer win for KH. Quick Launch

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