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NHL Anaheim Ducks

New Jersey Devils: Jacob Josefson Making the Most of his Time in the AHL

Alan Maglaque-US PRESSWIRE

As obnoxious as the NHL lockout has become, it has given several marginal players a chance to shine in the AHL; one such player is New Jersey Devils‘ center Jacob Josefson.

Through the Albany Devils first 14 games, Josefosn leads the team in goals (6), points (10) and power play points (3). His 10 points is one more than he had all of last season in 41 NHL games. The oft injured centered has been tough to figure out thus far in his short playing career. When Josefson is not nursing an injury, his time in the NHL can be best described as…inconsistent.

The numbers may not be jaw-dropping, but keep in mind that Josefson has had a part of nearly one-third of Albany’s total offensive output.  The baby Devils are not exactly lighting up AHL scoreboards this season. Albany at the bottom of the league in offense, scoring a lowly 2.28 goals per game. Nevertheless, Josefson is playing good hockey and that is a plus any way you spin it.

Josefson’s 69 career NHL games have falling somewhere between exciting; to forgettable; to injured, and despite scoring just 19 (5g 14a) points in his brief career, he has shown at times to be an effective NHL center when healthy. His current play with Albany is making a statement. But, what exactly is that statement?

Is the young Swede starting to come into his sown as a hockey playing and beginning to fulfill some of that promise we all believe him to posses  Or does his solid play in the AHL prove once and for all that his smallish frame and fragile physique make him better suited for a league other than the NHL? Whatever the answer, it is too soon to tell but all signs point to J.J. turning his career around.

I have always enjoyed watching Josefson play and I still believe he is going to be a big part of the NHL Devils for many years to come – if he can stay out of a cast, that is. He played well in the Stanley Cup Finals last Spring against the Los Angeles Kings and now this spike in his overall production. I truly hope this dreaded, drawn-out lockout gives him the time he needs to really get comfortable playing the game of hockey again. By the looks of things right now he is making the most of his time in the AHL and shedding some off those preconceived notions many of us have about him and his game. That can’t be too bad, can it?

The kid is due for a breakout season in the NHL. The lockout could turn into the “break” (no pun intended) Josefson needed to make that a reality. The real trick will be translating his solid AHL play over the the NHL game once the lockout concludes…if it ever does. By looks the of things now, I have no reason to believe Josefson won’t be able to make that happen.

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