Rant Sports NHL Prospect Primer: Winnipeg Jets – Carl Klingberg
A second round draft pick in 2009, Winnipeg Jets prospect Carl Klingberg has slowly but surely been making his way up the ranks. The Swedish forward made a name for himself playing for Frolunda at the U-18 level before getting drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers and moving up to the Swedish Elite League. He appeared in six games last season with the Jets but did not muster a point.
Klingberg’s combination of size, skating ability and work-ethic grabbed the attention of scouts, who see a player that can become a good NHL regular with some refinement to his game. Klingberg stands at 6’3” and 205 lbs. according to the team’s website and uses his frame the way you would hope. He drives to the net and uses his body to create scoring chances.
The one knock on Klingberg’s game according to Hockey’s Future is his patience and shot selection. This isn’t a major red flag because it’s the type of thing that can be fixed with coaching. With Klingberg possessing all the great raw tools to go along with an edge to his game and a high-motor, he should have no problem becoming a good player at the highest level.
Power forwards are hard to come by in the NHL and the Jets have a real gem if he can reach his high-end potential. If he does, he’s a great two-way top-six forward that will battle in front of the net and be a strong forechecker and backchecker. Even if his scoring doesn’t translate into the NHL, he can still be a great energy guy that can cause matchup problems as the third-liner.
Carl Klingberg played his first full season in North America last year, putting up 37 points in 66 games with the St. John’s Ice Caps of the AHL. At 21 years old, this could be the year that Klingberg steps forward and becomes an NHL regular.