Carl Klingberg has used two very strong home outings (silent hat-trick included) to help vault himself to the top of the AHL in goal-scoring, but where did this come from?
Klingberg has notched 6 goals for nearly a goal-per-game pace so far this season. Oddly enough, that matches his entire output from 57 games last season between the Swedish Elite League (SEL) and AHL. He’s heated up quickly, and when watching him on the ice, it isn’t too difficult to understand why.
It’s easy to see that Klingberg has the ability to recognize scoring opportunities and put himself in the right areas using his speed. It’s been said in the past that his game was believed to translate well to North American ice, and so far that’s proven true. Because of his size, he’s pretty tough to stop when charging toward the net – slowing a 6’3″ 210 lb guy (who isn’t afraid of the physical game, by the way) from going where he wants is tough when he’s only a few strides away.
It’s no surprise that the Swede is among tops on the IceCaps for shots on goal by a forward with 19. As their premiere player with a hot hand, the team has been feeding him pucks whenever possible and he’s delivering. However, with a shooting percentage upward of 25%, his numbers simply aren’t sustainable.
Of course nobody expects him to score 70+ goals, but that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to turn heads. And from speaking with some local media, it seems his mindset is totally in the right place as well – a few have mentioned that Klingberg is quite humble and easy-going, two traits that fit in pretty well here on the Rock.
From Hockey’s Future:
His biggest challenge will be to develop the patience and ability to recognize scoring opportunities more consistently.
Klingberg’s intensity is especially apparent on the forecheck and his aggressivenss in all three zones make him a difficult player to play against. He has good timing in his hits and rarely puts himself out of the play despite his physical style of play.
A late cut from the Jets’ preseason camp, Klingberg scored in his first game for St. John’s and will be a key player for the IceCaps as he works toward a callup. With NHL ready size and skating, it seems only a matter of timing before Klingberg becomes an NHL regular.
For a somewhat struggling Jets team, Klingberg’s success thus far has to be steadily on their radar. It’s argued that he is simply the team’s second best prospect behind Mark Scheifele, with Postma and Cormier obviously in the mix as well. With Scheifele being returned to junior, Klingberg could see some time in the NHL this season.
All of these players bring different skill-sets to the table, but as far as real scoring ability is concerned, Klingberg is well on his way to breaking out in a big way over here on the smaller rinks.
If he does, this season could be his first and last as an IceCap.