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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Call up Jonatan Berggren; Will Play Tonight

Jonathan Berggren will be making his NHL debut on Thursday



Jonatan Berggren, Grand Rapids Griffins

Many Detroit Red Wings fans have waited patiently for Jonatan Berggren’s time to arrive with the NHL club.

Their wait is over.

Both Givani Smith and Berggren were called up to the Red Wings Thursday, the former already appearing in two games this season and the latter getting his first crack at an NHL lineup in the regular season.

Berggren a Promising Red Wings Prospect

Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde confirmed that Berggren will be in the lineup and making his NHL debut at Little Caesars Arena tonight against the New York Rangers. Elmer Soderblom is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Berggren fought off an injury earlier this season, one that kept him out for four games. But since his return, he’s a point-per-game with seven points (4-3) in seven games. Last year, Berggren notched 64 points (21-43) and set the Griffins rookie record with his output.

The callup seemed inevitable. It was just a matter of when.

The Red Wings have seen a steady stream of players in and out of the lineup, forcing them to dip into the pool in Grand Rapids to fill the gaps. Austin Czarnik, Matt Luff, and Smith all slotted in at some point. All have played well, with Luff being the recipient of bad injury luck with a puck to the mouth and then a brutal hit into the boards against Montreal Tuesday night.

So now it’s Berggren’s turn. With Tyler Bertuzzi nearing a return, will there be room for him? Will it just be a quick call-up and send back? Or might he stick for some time?

He has been excellent this season with Grand Rapids, picking up where he left off from the 2021-22 season. Griffins head coach Ben Simon lauded Berggren’s early efforts this year.

“He came back and he’s a big piece of our power play,” Simon said. “He’s more consistently competitive. His overall competitiveness is better. Last season, he was waiting for pucks to come to him. This year there’s a little bit more urgency to his game and a more competitiveness away from the puck.”

Will Berggren Find His Way into the Lineup?

It remains to be seen if Berggren will indeed become an NHL regular at this stage, but for all of what Simon said, Berggren’s more well rounded game can certainly mesh with a team always looking to score more goals.

His power play success could transition well to Detroit, still stinging from an 0 for 7 showing on Tuesday. The power play has been better this season, but Berggren could add another dimension with his offensive instincts.

As the front office and Red Wings head coach Lalonde have indicated previously, the best players will find their way in, and nothing will be handed out.

But Detroit’s 2018 second round choice has found his way to the big club. And tonight, according to Lalonde, Berggren will be in uniform tonight.