Last year, Detroit Red Wings prospect Jonatan Berggren was feeling the devastation when he was among the last cuts from Sweden’s roster for the IIHF World Championship tournament.
This year, the cut was even unkinder. Sweden is making the decision of dropping Berggren from the country’s roster after his testing positive for COVID-19.
“Jonatan Berggren has tested positive for COVID-19 and must be quarantined for five days,” Swedish coach and former Red Wings forward Johan Garpenlov told Aftonbladet.se. “After that, he must show two negative tests to get to the World Cup.”
Garpenlov simply felt the downtime Berggren was facing would be too much to overcome in order for him to be able to contribute to the Swedish cause.
“To miss five days of training in this situation is far from optimal, and because of that and the uncertainty surrounding upcoming tests, we have chosen to move on with other players to the World Cup squad,” Garpenlov explained.
Berggen had little to say when contacted about his illness and enforced absence from the world tournament squad. However, in his few words, the devastation he was feeling came through loud and clear.
“Very sad to miss the World Cup,” Berggren said in a brief text message to Sportbladet.
Berggren was coming home off a spectacular rookie season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL farm club of the Red Wings.
Playing the entire campaign with the Griffins, Beggren ended up posting 21-33-64 numbers. He concluded the season second among AHL rookie scorers, as well as 12th overall in league scoring.
Recently, Garpenlov was admitting that cutting Berggren from the 2021 Swedish world tourney team was a mistake he’d made.
“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.”
The IIHF World Championship begins Friday in Finland. Swedish officials will be revealing their team on Wednesday. Detroit goalie Magnus Hellberg and forward Elmer Soderblom, a Red Wings prospect, are both candidates for the squad.