Fabian Zetterlund Introduction
The New Jersey Devils have officially posted a statement about the status update to forward Tyce Thompson via Twitter. Forward Fabian Zetterlund has been named to the New Jersey Devils roster en route from Utica and as mentioned per New Jersey Devils Twitter @NJDevils he will join the team for practice this morning. As you should be informed Tyce Thompson is on Injury Reserve and that’ll reflect on CapFriendly.
With the influx of Swedes on this team, this 5’11” 218 pound mammoth of a right-wing, and center is a native of Karlstad, Sweden. He is a right shot who plays a heavy North American style of hockey so he can play that 3rd line role. As Hockeyprospect.com in 2017 wrote, “He combines this speed with a very good motor, as he has a strong desire to retrieve pucks and forecheck.”
Zetterlund has 6 assists and 9 points in 10 games with the Utica Comets. He is under a point per game there. What he did achieve last year when he was on loan with AIK in the Allsvenskan (2020-21) the tier below the SHL is that he had 10 points in 21 games, and 6 assists. Zetterlund had 19 points in 46 games with 11 assists with Binghamton in the shortened 2019-20 season.
The Swedish Infusion
What this means for guys like Alexander Holtz, Jesper Boqvist, and Andreas Johnsson is that they have an influx of Swedish players on this New Jersey Devils roster. Johnsson looks to play with Mercer and Bratt as that line looks sizzling hot as a pan of pork roll for egg and cheese sandwiches. Boqvist-Zetterlund-Holtz on a line would be very interesting due to the meat and potatoes style of hockey Fabian can win puck battles, and Jesper Boqvist can dangle and create scoring chances, and you have a finisher in Alexander Holtz. Holtz finding that line chemistry like Johnsson did with Bratt another Swede on the roster worked out very well with Newfoundland’s own Dawson Mercer.
Not exactly saying that the BZH line would be a dynamic Swedish stud line like the Johnsson -Mercer-Bratt line is, but it is an idea that could be utilized by Lindy Ruff as the head coach. The New Jersey Devils so far have proven that even without Jack Hughes and Miles Wood even stealing games, and outright winning them with the help of Jonathan Bernier, and Mackenzie Blackwood in the net.
Adding the physical build, skill level, and the compete level of Fabian Zetterlund to the New Jersey Devils roster is a big step forward in rounding outlines three through four. So there is a need to shuffle the bottom lines and see who fits in versus the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Having that blend of compete level, physical grit, and that determination factor on every line will help make the New Jersey Devils likely increase their odds of winning. Like last time when Tyce Thompson and Jesper Boqvist got called up after Alexander Holtz, this is another test to see which players are ready to play or stay on the big league roster.
The next variable is will Zetterlund sink or swim? That remains to be seen but if he proves to be a mainstay on the New Jersey Devils roster and proves to General Manager Tom Fitzgerald and Lindy Ruff to keep him on the staff that helps this roster win and get more crucial points against top tier teams this will improve the team throughout the standings. Another thing is to consider with the NHL trade deadline now in March this will give Tom Fitzgerald more breathing room to gain an idea where to improve the team.
So far the power play is beginning to click internally thanks to Dougie Hamilton, Andreas Johnsson, and Pavel Zacha finally feeling it don’t be surprised if Fitzgerald goes hunting for another finishing winger. The New Jersey Devils could make a push for a guy like Dominik Kubalik if Chicago keeps underperforming. March 4th is when the KHL season terminates unless a few Devils draftees are in the Gagarin Cup playoffs and Shakir Mukhamadullin’s contract terminates March 30, 2022, so those are some dates to keep an eye on as the Devils season moves forward.
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