Mattias Tedenby was put on the non-roster injured reserve list on Thursday to help get the New Jersey Devils down to the 23-man roster limit.
If you asked any Devils fan prior to this preseason about it, most would have gladly let him go through waivers and possibly be claimed by other teams. Saying that Tedenby has been a disappointment is somewhat of an understatement.
He was a first-round pick that came into the organization with comparisons to Martin St. Louis. This obviously had most fans excited to see the young Swede get to the big club. Those lofty expectations never seemed to come to fruition.
Tedenby spent his entire career bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL. He has shown spurts of scoring ability, but nothing close to what most expected. The thought coming in was that this guy was a no doubt 30-goal scorer. His speed was so incendiary that it was going to translate quickly to the pros. For some reason, it just hasn’t worked that way.
Now it is five years later, and the Devils have brought back Tedenby on a one-year contract that basically is his last chance with the organization. Even looking at his minor league stats, he averages around 10 goals a year. Forgive Devils fans for having him as an afterthought when it came to making this roster.
Tedenby has been phenomenal this preseason. He has scored against the team’s biggest rival, the New York Rangers, which will make any fan like a player. He came into camp with more weight on him, which seems to have given him better positions in the offensive zone. He seems to be more focused than he has ever been.
The thing about Tedenby in the past was his talent never went anywhere, but his effort left much to be desired. His passes are off, his shot selection is terrible, he made some bonehead plays, and he wasn’t giving the best effort on the defensive side. This season looks to be different.
So is this just a fluke couple of games, something we have seen before with him? Is this actually a new Mattias Tedenby? The jury will continue to be out, but if he can be a fraction of what most expected, he can bring a lot to this team now and maybe in the future as well.