Jakob Silfverberg: Ready for the NHL

By Matthew Kirkpatrick

Jakob Silfverberg had the Ottawa Senators brass salivating during the teams training camp last season.

They were impressed with his game enough that they pleaded with him to come to North America, but he was determined to honour the final year of his contract in the Swedish Elite League, and what a year he had.

Bryan Murray and company were impressed with Silfverberg’s strong two-way game, but felt that he would benefit from some time playing in the AHL so he could get used to the style of play, and the smaller rinks.

Jakob Silfverberg declined the opportunity, and headed back to Sweden where he had a breakout year playing for Brynäs IF.

He finished the year with 54 points in 49 games, good enough for second in SEL scoring, and the regular season league MVP award.

Silfverberg then led his team in playoff scoring with 20 points including a record breaking 13 goals en route to a league championship, and playoff MVP honours.

After a whirlwind SEL season Jakob Silfverberg did come to North America, and made his NHL debut in game six of the Senators first round series against the New York Rangers.

He did not look out of place, but he did fail to provide the offensive spark that many in the organization hoped he would as Ottawa went on to lose the series in seven games.

Jakob Silfverberg was drafted 39th overall in the 2009 draft, which also yielded the Senators Jared Cowen (9th overall), and Robin Lehner (46th overall.)

He has good size (6 ft 1 in, 187 lb), and great hands. Some think he will develop into a strong role player in the NHL, but others see a star in the making, but it could take a year or two for him to adjust.

Next year Silfverberg will join a tremendous group of prospects who will attempt to break into the Senators line up full time including fellow Swede Mika Zibanejad, and Mark Stone.

While all three could see time in Bingo, it would come as no surprise if they were all taking a regular shift in the NHL by seasons end.



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