18 April 2019

Defenseman David Rundblad (St. Louis) and Tim Erixon (Calgary) both come from the same SEL team, Skellefteå.  Rundblad is an offensive minded player that still needs to work on his defensive game, but on the other hand he should contribute in a great way from the blue line. Erixon is more of a reliable two-way defenseman and in a way feels more likely to succeed, while Rundblad’s ceiling is higher.  The two remaj joining Swedes in the first round, Jacob Josefson (New Jersey) and Marcus Johansson (Washington) are fast skating two-way players that are very all-round. Both are defensively responsible and bring some offense.  I am especially a fan of Josefson, who I thought would be picked earlier than #20.  Josefson is also having a great preseason with his SEL team Djurgården and I can definitely see him and Tedenby forming a dynamic duo for the Devils in the future.


Robin @ CI - Great insight into the programs Johan.  Many of the players drafted recently are intriguing, I agree.  Continuing on with dynamite Devil prospect Mattias Tedenby;  his numbers, especially in the playoffs, are quite impressive.  He has international seasoning and was one of HV71's capable young stars along with Andre Petersson (Ottawa) and Adam Almqvist (Detroit). 


How do you feel his development as a player has unfolded on HV71, as opposed to another club in the SEL, or with more playing time in the lower league, Allsvenskan? 


Johan @ EP - I was actually quite skeptical last year. I knew from the start Tedenby was good enough to see quality ice time on the already strong HV71 team, but I was also aware that his coach, Kent Johansson, is known to not give the younger players a lot of ice time.  As the season got going, this became obvious when Tedenby was averaging 2-7 minutes per game.  Eventually his team sent him on loan to the second tier league, where he did very well.  When he was later recalled, his ice time increased somewhat and at the end of the season it appeared that coach Johansson finally realized his potential and current skill level. Tedenby was dynamite in the playoffs.  This upcoming season, with a different coach, I expect him to get lot of time on the ice from the start.


So overall, last season became very successful despite the start.  However, should he have played for a weaker team, most certainly he would have received much more attention and likely would have scored more points than he did.  He was ready for the SEL already last season, so in my opinion he was at the right level.


Robin @ CI - HV71 has certainly become credible in the Elitserien - winning the regular season three times in the past six seasons and converting two of those powerhouse teams into a Swedish Championship (Le Mat Trophy, 2004 and 2008).  What was Tedenby's role on the team and how did he react in the SEL Final against GM and ex-NHL star Hakan Loob's immense Farjestad team?


Johan @ EP - During the playoffs, Tedenby did not always get time on the power play unit playing on the third line, but he formed a successful line with Björn Melin (3 games with the Ducks in 06/07) and farjresponsible two-way player Andreas Falk.  That line really clicked and Tedenby’s role was to fore check hard and to be an offensive force.  He played his best games in the quarter finals and semi finals, but did okay against Färjestad. However, Färjestad won the series quite easily and were clearly the better team during that playoff run.


Robin @ CI:  Finally, I would love to get into the young players that the Devils' will introduce in the near future.  Tedenby is as dynamic as they come, but how do you figure he can enhance the team alongside Josefson, Matt Halischuk, Alexander Vasyunov, and Nicklas Bergfors as they come up through the system?


Personally, I believe a player like Tedenby could mesh with a playmaker like Travis ZajacCOR, elder statesman Patrik Elias, or a solid checker in prospect Patrice Cormier who displayed a his wares for everyone on the World Junior scene very well.  The Devils have a good blend of skill and sandpaper, size and speed, defense and offense; complimenting Lowell (AHL) goaltender and University of Minnesota alumnus goaltender Jeff Frazee.  I also like the prospects of Matthew Corrente and Eric Gelinas to bolster the blueline and add puck movement to the kids like Tedenby.


Johan @ EP: I have always liked the Devils way of thinking when it comes to drafting prospects. They see past the size issue and draft players based on skill.  Tedenby definitely falls under this category.  To get the most out of Tedenby on the ice, he should in my opinion with a solid two-way center with strong defensive skills and a more powerful and physical player that can make room for Tedenby’s speed and moves.  I do think he would be a good fit with Josefson, as he is very reliable both ways and at the same time he is very good at delivering the puck.


Although I might not be best one to predict Cormier’s future at NHL level, from what I have seen, his Bobby Holik similarities would also work.  In the Swedish juniors, Tedenby was often paired with other similar type of players (David Ullström (NYI) and [the aforementioned] André Petersson (Ott)).  That is, strong-skating players with good technical skills and a lot of puck possession. That kind of hindered him at times, so I think he should be relied on carrying the line offensively and been given a lot of space and puck in the offensive end.


Robin @ CI:  Johan, I would graciously like to thank you for your time and effort.  I am sure our readers look forward to chatting with you in the future, I know I will.  Prosper.


Johan @ CI:  Thanks Robin, it was my pleasure.

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