While the focus here has appropriately been on the New Jersey Devils for the past month with training camp and preseason, the Swedish Elite League has already begun play. This is important because two of the top Devils' prospects - if not the best prospects - in the system are playing right now. Jacob Josefson is playing for Djurgardens and Mattias Tedenby is playing for HV71, and they are up with their senior teams now.
Note: I'm running these links of match reports and the like through Google Translator. They lead to some "interesting" and sometimes hard to parse results in English. So be forewarned should you want to check them out. Also, be forewarned that I'm basically highlighting what they've said - so yeah, I'm being a bit lazy. If you have seen the game and/or follow either team, by all means, feel free to add your comments.
So far HV71 has played 4 games, while Djurgardens IF has played only 2. Let's see how both teams are performing this season, as well as what Tedenby and Josefson have contributed.
HV71 started their season first against Linkoping HC with a fun and comfortable 6-2 win. The match report touts the result as a great one with 4 power play goals scored by HV71, including a 5-on-3 tally to start the game. Tedenby did not register any points, unfortunately, but I'm sure the prospective winger was happy all the same in the team's results.
The two actually faced each other to in Djurgarden's first game of the season. HV71 won 7-6, but in terms of Devil prospect vs. Devil prospect, Josefson clearly won with 3 assists (and a penalty) to Tedenby's pointless effort. Though I'm sure the players are more concerned with the team's results than their own stats.
The Djurgarden game report even noted that Josefson hit a post in addition to providing pressure down low and setting up his teammates. The HV71 game report doesn't note that Tedenby did anything of note other than play left wing on their third line. In the game, Djurgardens remarkably scored 4 power play goals in the game, alas, they could not match HV71 goal-for-goal. Not that HV71 was powerless; they put up 3 power play goals of their own. 7 in 2 games is just amazing! Still, I would imagine the head coach for HV71 reminded his players about the importance of the penalty kill after this one despite the win and the success on the power play.
Fun Fact: Ever wondered what happened to former Devils draft pick Teemu Laine? No? Well, here's how he's doing anyway. First, he does exist. He's on HV71 and he scored 2 goals - including the eventual game winning power play goal - in the game against Djurgardens. Second, he actually has 3 goals, an assist, and 10 PIM in 4 games with HV71. So he's been contributing as well as exisiting.
HV71 has continued to roll on with a win over Rogle and their Edmonton Oilers-esque logo. It was a tight game, as Rogle's penalty killers and their goaltender were able to withstand the HV71 power play. In fact, the PK was off for HV71, conceding two power play goals to Rogle. Yet, HV71 pulled away in the third period with the game winning goal by Andreas Falk. This goal was also important because Mattias Tedenby set Falk right up in front of the net. It was Tedenby's first assist and it was a big one. An empty netter iced the win for HV71, 4-2.
On the same night, Josefson and Djurgarden were hosting some team called MoDo Hockey featuring some player by the name of Peter Forsberg. Yes, that Peter Forsberg. The same one rumored to make a comeback of sorts. Forsberg was, well, himself, as he set up MoDo's first goal and scored the overtime winner to win 2-1. A real heartbreaker for the Djurgadens supporters in the team's first home game of the season. The game report indicates that Djurgarden led in shots 33-29, but they couldn't get too many clear chances on net. The shots were not high quality shots, as it seems. The game became a struggle, stood at a stand still, and someone as magical on the ice as Forsberg had his chance. Naturally, he made the most of it. Josefson didn't contribute anything to the game outside of taking a penalty as near as I can tell.
While Djurgarden rests (they visit Skelleftea AIK tomorrow), HV71 won their fourth straight over Peter Forsberg's MoDo Hockey. HV71 won 3-1 and the game's first goal was scored by Mattias Tedenby, his first of the 2009-10 season. Here's what he had to say according to the game report:
Hans första mål för säsongen. - Jag tycker att vi gör en bra period, sa Tedenby efter första perioden.Att det var hans första mål för säsongen kommenterade han så här: "Det av väldigt skönt, jag har väntat på det här. Det är alltid skönt att få göra första."
[His first goal of the season. - "I think we do a good period," said Tedenby after the first period. That it was his first goal of the season he commented as follows: "It is of very nice, I've been waiting for this. It's always nice to do first."]
In all 4 games, Tedenby remains at left wing on the third line and it's great to see him get that first goal. HV71 added a second goal before halfway through the first, scored by his teammate Per Ledin. Peter Forsberg got one back in the second period, but HV71 were resilient to any attempt of a comeback by MoDo. Ex-Devils draft pick Teemu Laine sealed the win with a third period goal, leaving HV71 currently in first place in the SEL. Meanwhile Djurgardens remain in 10th with a mere point in two games.
In terms of prospect stats, Josefson leads Tedenby with 3 points (3 A) over Tedenby's 2 (1 G, 1 A). We shall see how each progress as they continue to get somewhat significant time in Sweden's top league.
Now, if anyone here follows either team and would like to add how the two players are playing in general - beyond the boxscore - please feel free to do so! Even if it is to tell me how off I am by making superficial judgments from game reports. Devils fans, I think, would be very interested in how they have done, whether they are working hard, whether they are struggling, etc. I plan on doing this from time to time so any information that you have would make this an even better feature.
Now, I leave you with this videolink which, I think, is called "3 Minutes with Mattias Tedenby." It features some highlights of, presumably, last season with HV71 as well as Tedenby being interviewed in Swedish. Dig that missing front tooth!