Two remarkably pleasant surprises are unfolding in the Swedish Hockey League playoffs and both are connected to the Detroit Red Wings. Defenseman Albert Johansson, a Detroit draft pick, is playing sensationally for Farjestad.
They will be opposing Lulea in the SHL championship final. Lulea forward Pontus Andreasson is leading the SHL playoffs with eight goals. Recently, there was the revelation of his agreeing to a contract with the Red Wings for next season.
As for Johansson’s development, it’s coming under the watchful eyes of several key Red Wings personnel. During Game 3 of the SHL semifinal between Farjestad and Rogle, Detroit vice-president of hockey operations Nicklas Lidstrom, advisor to GM Steve Yzerman Niklas Kronwall and former captain Henrik Zetterberg were in the stands checking out the action.
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“Both Niklas Kronwall and Nicklas Lidström do an incredible job with all our drafted players here,” Kris Draper, the Red Wings’ director of amateur scouting, told Aftonbladet.se. “They make all our players here grow and take further steps. It is such a luxury that they can be brought up in this environment. With playoff hockey and the pressure from sold-out arenas, it is very good for their development.”
Red Wings Draper Checking Out Johansson
Draper was stopping in for Game 4 of the series en route to scouting the World U18 Championship. Joining him were Detroit’s director of European scouting Hakan Andersson and Red Wings amateur scout Jesse Wallin.
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Johansson ended up scoring the winning goal for Farjestad to give the club a 3-1 series lead. Farjestad eliminated Rogle in six games.
“Albert Johansson shows incredible confidence,” Draper said. “He had his head up and made a fantastic shot to the goal. What is impressive is that he was also out in the game in a three against five penalty kill.
“He can play in all situations. He has skating, shooting and physical play.”
The son of former NHL defenseman Roger Johansson, Albert Johansson is already under contract to Detroit. His pact is running through 2024. The Red Wings opted to loan him to Farjestad this season. As for his location next season, Draper’s suggestion was that gameplan is still under review.
“When the season is over, we will discuss when it is time for him to come over to the NHL,” Draper said. “In the way he develops and the experience he gets here, he begins to get ready. It will be exciting to see him try to break into the NHL.”