The Boston Bruins announced their roster for Tuesday night’s preseason home game against the Detroit Red Wings. It is the first game of the preseason for Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, who was drafted by the Bruins in 2015 in the 2nd round (45th overall). He is one of the players who seems poised to earn a permanent spot on the roster.
This isn’t the first NHL action for the 20-year-old Swede. He signed his entry-level contract with the Bruins organization April 2, 2017, after having played two years of collegiate hockey with the Boston University Terriers. He suited up for Boston in their final regular season game against the Washington Capitals on April 8, 2017. However, this is his first time at training camp.
“It’s always fun to play hockey. It’s nice to be back after the summer,” he shared at the start of the main training camp. “You put a lot of work into the summer and it’s nice to be back now and get on the ice and be able to play.”
Throughout his time with the Terriers, the 6’1” center, played 78 games in the scarlet and white where he amassed 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points and was a +11. During rushes at the Bruins’ morning skate, he was on a line with David Backes and Frank Vatrano—a line that is expected to play together Tuesday night.
As with most of the preseason, the point is to see who brings what to the table and where the chemistry is starting to come together.
“I think working with [Forsbacka Karlsson], [Vatrano] and I both try to communicate. I think the less you think out there, the quicker you’re moving and so the quicker we can get some chemistry together; know where each other is going to be,” Backes shared a couple of days ago. “Communicate through that, the pace is going to continue to go up.”
Two days later, there was improvement, but the true test will be while the three of them are in game action.
“Every day it’s gotten better. [Forsbacka Karlsson] in particular is just starting to flow with it; skating better every day, not hesitating and he can scoot,” Backes said after Tuesday’s morning skate. “We’ll have a shift-by-shift mentality and regroup on the bench and go for another great shift.”
One of the attributes that came up most about the speedy center is his mental approach to the game.
“Yeah, I think he’s a guy that is a cerebral player. He thinks the game well, but at times that can be cumbersome too, and maybe slow you down a little bit, so we’re [Vatrano and Backes] trying to communicate with him that he’s got great instincts, that he can trust those instincts and go,” Backes said.
For Forsbacka Karlsson, he’s paying attention to his line mates and what they are sharing, especially Backes.
“I think especially when you’re watching [Backes] both on and off the ice, the little things that he does and the way he kind of handles the puck and takes care of the puck is probably the biggest thing,” he told media.
The line has certainly begun to gel some and if Forsbacka Karlsson can just immerse himself in the game and not overthink the play or the overall system, the three of them could be formidable.
“As long as you’re not thinking out there, you’re probably going to be on top of the play and he’s got all the tools once he is there,” Backes complimented the young center.