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Cutting Berggren Last Year A Mistake, Swedish Coach Garpenlov Admits

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Jonatan Berggren, Red Wings prospect
Detroit Red Wings prospect Jonatan Berggren was a late cut from Sweden's 2021 World Tourney Team.

Hindsight is always 20-20 but looking back, Johan Garpenlov is of the belief that Jonatan Berggren could have been helping Sweden’s cause.

Detroit Red Wings prospect Berggren was a late cute from Sweden’s 2021 IIHF World Championship squad. That Swedish club ended up going 3-3-1 and missing out on the medal round. It was the country’s worst finish in 84 years.

Former Red Wings forward Garpenlov, coach of Sweden’s national team, is now admitting that perhaps Berggren could’ve proven to be a difference maker.

“A little in retrospect, but last season maybe he should have been in the Riga tournament,” Garpenlov told HockeyNews.se. “It’s always easy to be hindsight, but considering what he achieved and what we got in and how we played, he could have contributed there, we think.”

Berggren Making His Points

Last season with Skelleftea, Berggren finished seventh in the Swedish League in scoring with 12-33-45 totals. Selected 33rd overall by the Red Wings in the 2018 NHL entry draft, Berggren, 21, was brought to North America by Detroit for the 2021-22 season.

Playing the entire campaign with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Beggren ended up posting 21-33-64 numbers. He was second among AHL rookie scorers and 12th overall in league scoring.

“Now he has had a good season in Grand Rapids and has done very, very well and is eager to come here and show himself and try to take a place in the World Cup team,” Garpenlov said. “It feels very exciting with just that desire to do it.”

He’s back with the Swedish team, in another battle to earn a spot on the world tourney squad.

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“He is a great hockey player of course,” Garpenlov said. “Strong on the puck, fast. He breaks the pattern in the game with the puck. I think he has become, based on what I have seen of him here and now, and what I have seen on TV, he looks stronger than he was before.

“It feels more obvious how he plays ice hockey. I think he can do very well in the matches here.”

Vrana Nets Winner

Jakub Vrana switched uniforms but he didn’t switch off his scoring touch.

In a Sweden-Czechia pre-tournament game on Thursday, it was Vrana who would pot the game winner as the Czechs edged the Swedes 2-1. Interestingly, he put a quick wrist shot past Red Wings teammate Magnus Hellberg for the winner.

Berggren and Red Wings draft pick Elmer Soderblom were also in Sweden’s lineup for the game.

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