On January 5th Sweden beat Finland to win bronze at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic. That game featured two Jets prospects – 2018 2nd rounder David Gustafsson and 2019 1st rounder Ville Heinola. Once the tournament concluded Heinola returned to Finland to resume playing with Lukko Rauma.
After Gustafsson was loaned by the Jets to Team Sweden back on December 13th, the conventional wisdom was that Gustafsson would be returning to Sweden to play for HV71 Jonkoping once the tournament concluded. However Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff indicated, in an interview on December 30th, that because the Jets second rounder played with Winnipeg past December 1st he was eligible to play in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose.
Today in Toronto Jets bench boss Paul Maurice was asked about Gustafsson’s status. “He had a minor injury in the last game. Nothing significant. They’re going to let it rest and then Kevin (Cheveldayoff) and his agent will kinda sort out what the next step is.”
Paul Maurice also indicated that they were pleased with his tournament and clearly so was the staff for Team Sweden who chose Gustafsson as one of the top three players of their team for the World Juniors.
Either with the Moose or in Sweden there is quite a bit of excitement for the prospect who unexpectedly played 22 NHL games with the Jets to start the 2019-20 regular season which included his first career NHL goal.