Detroit Red Wings: The time is now to call up forward Jonatan Berggren

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If there were ever a perfect time to call up forward Jonatan Berggren, it would be right now. The Detroit Red Wings continue to be stricken by injury, the latest being Filip Zadina.

Zadina blocked a shot on Saturday from Ryan Pulock, who possesses an absolute cannon during Detroit’s 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders. The injury occurred late in the third period. Zadina limped his way to Detroit’s bench and headed right up the tunnel towards the locker room but needed assistance from the training staff.

Following the game, Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde mentioned that he doesn’t think we’ll see Zadina for a while. The Red Wings will know more today about the significance of the injury.

Lalonde also mentioned that Detroit is pretty deep up front. Forward Austin Czarnik joined the club Saturday from Grand Rapids but wasn’t inserted into the lineup to face the Islanders. Czarnik will make his season debut with the Red Wings Sunday afternoon in New York as the Red Wings are set to square off with the Rangers.

“I know it sounds crazy, but we have some experience with having five or six guys out up front,” Lalonde said. “We have some confidence with it. Next guy up. Austin Czarnik flew in last night and we’re excited about getting him in tomorrow.”

Czarnik has totaled five goals and ten points over eight games to begin the season in Grand Rapids.

The Detroit Red Wings need to call up Jonatan Berggren.

Zadina joins a laundry list of Red Wings injuries, most of which are to top-nine forwards. Detroit began the season without Robby Fabbri, who continues to recover from an ACL injury. The Red Wings also lost Tyler Bertuzzi to a broken hand, Oskar Sundqvist to an upper-body injury, and Jakub Vrana to a personal matter.

Before Czarnik was recalled, the Red Wings added Matt Luff from Grand Rapids and gave Givani Smith another look on the fourth line. Smith had clearly been called up for the short term but sent back after it seemed the injury to Sundqvist was a bit more serious than initially expected. At the time of the injury, Detroit reported that he’d be day-to-day; but as the day continues to pass, Sundqvist has yet to return to practice.

Czarnik got off to a great start this season, with the Griffins winning player of the week honors earlier this season. And while Luff performed well enough in Grand Rapids to earn a call-up, it’s time to call up top forward prospect Jonatan Berggren.

Berggren led the Griffins last season with 64 points over 70 games. Berggren is more of a playmaking facilitator by trade; he did chip in with 21 goals last year. The 22-year-old forward had been selected by the Detroit Red Wings 33rd overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Level Draft. Despite battling injuries early on this season, Berggren has totaled four goals and seven points over his first six games of the season.

Berggren isn’t someone who will excel playing on the fourth line and needs to play as a top-nine forward to unlock all of his offensive capabilities. With the Red Wings currently missing so many top-nine forwards, it’s the perfect opportunity to see what Berggren can bring to Detroit at the NHL level.

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