#48 Carl Klingberg, 20, LW, 6’3, 205 lbs
Last Year's Rating: N/A This Year's Rating: #24 Difference: N/A
Selected 34th overall in 2009, the Atlanta Thrashers took a risk on a big Swedish winger named Carl Klingberg. Drafted in the same draft as teammate Evander Kane, many of his draft class have not made the NHL full-time yet, except for the likes of John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Victor Hedman, and Dmitry Kulikov, among others, the Class of 2009 may have its breakout year as a whole this season.
The Jets are hoping the power forward like winger can add to their offensive punch. At 6'3, Klingberg adds to an already big forward unit with the likes of Nik Antropov (6
6), Blake Wheeler (6'5), Eric Fehr (6'4), Andrew Ladd (6'3), and Chris Thorburn (6'3).
Before finally coming over to North America last season, Klingberg bounced between the Swedish Elite League and Swedish Division One. In 42 games with Vastra Frolunda HC in 2009-10, Klinberg collected 13 points (six goals, seven assists) along with 16 penalty minutes and a plus one rating. The team featured former NHLers P.J. Axelsson and Johan Holmqvist.
He played in 38 games for Vastra Frolunda HC this season before being dealt to Timra IK and scoring five points in 11 games.
Klingberg made the move to North America soon after and was in the lineup for the Chicago Wolves for eight games, scoring one goal along with six penalty minutes and a minus one rating.
He was rewarded with a game with the Thrashers last season as he played against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his NHL debut on April 10th. He had 10:22 minutes of ice time and was held pointless.
Another year for Klingberg to develop may be in order. Yet, being a power forward may be an asset to his status in the Jets lineup. He started showing promise when he got five points in 11 games with Timra IK before the Swedish Elite League season was out. The Jets hope he can show that and use his size in conjunction.
More development may be necessary because he has limited experience of the North American game, but his size and his demeanor and lack of success in Sweden may be a clue how he will adjust to the North American game. He may have been built for the North American game all along. He will get his chance at training camp this season.