Editor’s Note: We welcome back Kyle to IC. Kyle was a longtime contributor to Illegal Curve writing On the Beat and Prospect Pulse. Here are some of his thoughts on prospect Carl Klingberg, drafted 34th overall by Atlanta at the 2009 NHL draft. To get more of his thoughts, why not follow him on twitter at ICkylek.
With the relocation of the Thrashers to Winnipeg, I took a moment to peruse the incoming crop of prospects. The one that really caught my eye was Carl Klingberg, who I had the opportunity to watch at the World U-18’s in Fargo, ND a few years back.
Many, many years ago, I recall the Jets drafting Mats Lindgren and describing him a “Swedish grinder”. I had a good laugh over that one, since my teenage-self thought it was pure folly to go prowling the hinterlands of Sweden looking for a plugger. Low and behold, some 15 years later I found myself saying, “Wow, that kid is a Swedish power forward.”
To read the rest of Kyle’s assessment of Klinberg and to watch his post draft interview, click read more.
Quick, big and mean for a Swede, Klingberg took it to Team Canada’s defenders for 3 full periods and ate the Americans lunch in the two games I saw live. Though the chances were not coming from his stick, per se, Klingberg excelled at creating scoring opportunities for his linemates and made every other Swede on the ice bigger with his presence. He possesses a quick first step, gets to speed almost immediately and has decent lateral movement. I didn’t see him get many shots, as his game is almost all below the hash-marks, but he was good with the puck in tight spaces and seemed to have at least average hands.
On the downside, I found that Klingberg would err on the side of making a hit rather than taking the puck when there was a play to be made. Keep in mind that this viewing was 2 full seasons ago, and can likely be chalked up to youthful exuberance. His hockey sense seems to be astute, as he was always in position and played within his limitations.
A quick perusal of www.hockeydb.com will show you that his numbers aren’t great, but keep in mind he is a young man playing in a tough Swedish league, where point totals aren’t often high and the 2nd assist is given out sparingly. Going forward, I would envision him as an agitator-type, playing anywhere from the 2nd line to the 4th line, and being a fan favourite in Winnipeg.
Here is his interview from Draft Day: