Red Wings’ Berggren Establishes Himself as Key Prospect (Video)

The Hockey Writers

In the latest episode of The Hockey Writers Grind Line, Detroit Red Wings hockey analysts Devin Little and Matthew Zator shared their expectations for Jonatan Berggren in the upcoming 2023-24 season.

Berggren’s Time In North America

After playing six seasons in the Sweden J20 SuperElit and the Swedish Hockey League, Berggren started the 2021-22 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League (AHL). There he appeared in 70 games and scored an impressive 21 goals and 43 assists (for a total of 64 points).

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In the 2022-23 season, Berggren also played seven games for the Griffins. During that brief stint, he scored four goals and added three assists (for seven points). Then he made the jump to the NHL, joining the Red Wings. In total, he played in 67 games for the Red Wings and had a solid season, scoring 15 goals and adding 13 assists (for a total of 28 points).

In reviewing his time since moving to North America, Berggren has shown strong offensive capabilities both with the Griffins and even after moving to the NHL. There he continued to be a valuable contributor, with 28 points in 67 games. Although his point production was lower compared to his AHL season, the fact that he was able to adapt his game to the NHL level points to his promise as a player.

Jonatan Berggren Detroit Red Wings
Jonatan Berggren, Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Berggren’s ability to maintain a consistent presence in both the NHL and AHL during the same season (2022-23) suggests that he has the ability to contribute at the highest level of play.

Berggren Established Himself as an NHL Player Last Season

Berggren, who established himself as an NHL player last season, is now moving to the next chapter in his development. The discussion between Little and Zator noted the possibility that he’ll take another significant step forward. If he can, his journey, starting in Grand Rapids but swiftly transitioning to the NHL, serves as a path for other young Red Wings players this season.

Last season, as noted, Berggren put up 28 NHL points. That’s a commendable feat, especially while playing mostly in the bottom six. As Little and Zator discuss, this performance sets a baseline for his upcoming season. It’s also intriguing that, despite his reputation as a playmaker, Berggren displayed a knack for goal-scoring. Could this signal a shift in his role or his strengths? Or is it an aberration? We’ll see as the 2023-24 season unfolds.

Related: Larkin & DeBrincat Could Be Detroit Red Wings’ Next Dynamic Duo

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The panel believed that one key for Berggren this season will be translating his playmaking skills to the NHL level. If he is to do that, it might require a shift to more of a prominent offensive role with the team. However, that might be tough to find as the Red Wings continue to improve their scoring. Little and Zator also discuss potential line combinations, emphasizing that Berggren will need to have a chance to shine in an offensive capacity.

How Many Points Can Berggren Register this Season?

Although the panel’s expectations aren’t sky-high, there is hope that Berggren might contribute around 40 points. That might have something to do with where he’ll play in the lineup, and right now that remains uncertain. Little and Zator also acknowledge that he might face increased competition from younger prospects. If so, that adds an interesting dimension to his development.

Jonatan Berggren Grand Rapids Griffins
Jonatan Berggren, with the Grand Rapids Griffins (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

The bottom line is that there is an expectation from the Red Wings’ fans that Berggren will continue to grow into a stronger player who can build on his previous success. While the 2023-24 season remains up in the air for now, Berggren has shown he has made the leap forward into the NHL.

Related: Red Wings Have Their Starting Goalie in Husso Says THW Panel

With the Red Wings’ offseason acquisition of Alex DeBrincat, who will certainly slot into a top-six role, the question will be whether Berggren can continue to prosper in the team’s bottom-six. Red Wings fans will soon see.

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