Boston’s second of three second-round picks in 2015 (Brandon Carlo and Jeremy Lauzon were the others) is who we thought he is.
Much like Danton Heinen, if you go to a game Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, or ‘JFK’ is playing in expecting to be dazzled or entertained by a dynamic skater who makes flashy plays all over the ice, you’re likely going to be left wanting more. However, if you understand hockey and are able to look closely at the very same things that a young 18-year-old Patrice Bergeron (he and JFK were both drafted with the 45th overall selection in their respective draft years, as was Ryan Spooner in 2010) was doing right away in the NHL after making the Boston Bruins, you can understand why so many analysts are keen on the Boston University center.
JFK and his fellow Terriers are fresh off of a nice shutout win over Quinnipiac over the weekend in a game where the B’s prospect figured in all three BU goals- notching two helpers and then adding an empty-netter to complete a points trifecta. 2017-eligible goaltender Jake Oettinger notched back-to-back blankings and has carved out first-round status for himself in the early going after impressing last April at the U18s in Grand Forks. McAvoy was pretty good on the BU blue line as well- he hasn’t taken control like he did at the USA National Evaluation Camp in August, but the talent and NHL potential have both been clearly on display in film study thus far.
The weekend belonged to JFK as far as Bruins prospects go, however.
He’s such a slick, intelligent player- he was knocked in the past for lacking pace and a sense of urgency in his game, but in looking at JFK live and on film over the past two seasons, it’s not that he’s indifferent to tempo- he just thinks the game at such a high level- his anticipation is off the charts. As a result, he’s an economy of motion kind of player in that he’s not one who needs to move his feet like the Roadrunner to get where he’s going or make plays at speed.
It also speaks volumes that JFK earned an alternate/assistant captain’s ‘A’ in just his second NCAA season. After spending a weekend in Omaha in September, there are still quite a few Lancers fans who still wear his jersey to USHL games, and they remember his high-end two-way game fondly. Given how rapidly he’s developing, it’s hard to envision him spending much more time on Comm. Ave. but we’ll see how things go. We’re sure that head coach David Quinn and his BU coaching staff would love that not to be the case, but they are also realists- they figure JFK is probably not long for the NCAA and will soon turn pro with the B’s, so they’re pulling in some pretty impressive talent to fill the void his departure will create.
For now, Forsbacka-Karlsson is doing all of the little things that coaches at all levels love and value: production, smart three-zone play, effectiveness in the faceoff circle, and a mature, quiet style of leadership.
He has the look of a winner, and while the Bergeron comparisons are a tad premature, if you’re looking hard at similarities in the way JFK applies himself in action, it doesn’t take long to find them.
We began this post with the assertion that JFK is who we thought he is, and that is someone who has the look of a future NHLer who could evolve into a key contributor in Boston once he gets several pro campaigns under his belt.
The kid’s a keeper.
And now- here’s the updated scoring numbers for Boston’s amateur and pro prospects:
Amateur Prospects as of 10/24/16
|Jesse Gabrielle, Prince George||WHL||8||6||6||12||8|
|Anders Bjork, Notre Dame||HE-NCAA||6||5||6||11||2|
|Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, BU||HE- NCAA||5||2||5||7||2|
|Trent Frederic, Wisconsin||Big10- NCAA||4||2||4||6||2|
|Jakub Zboril, Saint John||QMJHL||6||2||3||5||2|
|Zach Senyshyn, SSM||OHL||7||4||1||5||10|
|Cameron Hughes, Wisconsin||Big10- NCAA||4||1||3||4||4|
|Ryan Fitzgerald, BC||HE-NCAA||6||1||3||4||4|
|Charlie McAvoy, BU||HE-NCAA||5||0||4||4||4|
|Jeremy Lauzon, Rouyn-Noranda*||QMJHL||2||1||2||3||0|
|Jack Becker, Sioux Falls||USHL||9||2||1||3||8|
|Cameron Clarke, Ferris St.||WCHA- NCAA||6||0||1||1||4|
|Ryan Lindgren, Minnesota||Big10- NCAA||4||0||0||0||2|
|Ryan Donato, Harvard**||ECAC- NCAA||0||0||0||0||0|
|Wiley Sherman, Harvard**||ECAC-NCAA||0||0||0||0||0|
* Jeremy Lauzon out indefinitely (UBI/concussion)
** ECAC regular season begins November 4, 2016
Pro and European Prospects
|Joona Koppanen, Ilves Jr.||U20- Finland||11||7||9||16||2|
|Austin Czarnik, Providence||AHL||2||2||1||3||0|
|Peter Cehlarik, Providence||AHL||2||1||1||2||2|
|Emil Johansson, Djurgarden IF||Sweden- Elite||8||0||2||2||6|
|Colton Hargrove, Providence||AHL||4||1||0||1||0|
|Colby Cave, Providence||AHL||5||1||0||1||4|
|Matt Grzelcyk, Providence||AHL||5||0||1||1||2|
|Linus Arnesson, Providence||AHL||5||0||1||1||0|
|Anton Blidh, Providence||AHL||5||0||1||1||2|
|Jake DeBrusk, Providence||AHL||5||0||1||1||2|
|Oskar Steen, Farjestad BK||Sweden- Elite||11||1||0||1||4|
|Justin Hickman, Providence||AHL||3||0||0||0||5|
|Sean Kuraly, Providence||AHL||5||0||0||0||7|
|Chris Casto, Providence||AHL||5||0||0||0||2|
|Zane McIntyre, Providence||AHL||3||1||0||0.44||.977|
|Malcolm Subban, Providence||AHL||4||0||3||4.50||.846|
|Dan Vladar, Providence||AHL||2||1||0||2.88||.909|
|Brian Ferlin, Providence*||AHL||0||0||0||0||0|
*Brian Ferlin- injured
** Tyler Randell, Tommy Cross, Alex Grant > age 25- not listed