Patrik Berglund – Calder Candidate

Dobber Sports

2008-12-07

berglund

 

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After a sluggish start, rookie Patrik Berglund has shot up the rookie scoring charts and emerged as a legitimate contender for the Calder Trophy.

 

When St. Louis drafted him 25th overall in 2006, it was overshadowed by the fact that the team also drafted defenseman Erik Johnson with the top pick. Pundits agreed even then, though, that Berglund was one of the 15 best offensive forwards that were available and that potentially he could be remembered as the one of the top three.

Coming from a stacked draft that included Jonathan Toews, Jordan Staal, Nicklas Backstrom, Kyle Okposo, Peter Mueller, Phil Kessel and Bryan Little, Berglund is finally starting to get noticed. The attitude has always been there – the Swede spent the summer in North America and worked on his main weakness – strength.

After just three points in his first eight NHL contests, the Blues suddenly really needed him to step up. Injuries to Paul Kariya and fellow rookie T.J. Oshie pushed the 20-year-old Berglund up to the No.1 slot up the middle. And he delivered.

With the added ice time and responsibility, Berglund has posted 13 points in 12 contests to go with a plus-8 rating. He has moved up to fourth place in the rookie scoring race with 16 points and is playing hotter than any of the three guys ahead of him. With Oshie now back in the lineup, Berglund’s ice time has not taken a hit at all and it is also unlikely to change when Kariya returns. He has always reminded analysts of another tall and lanky Swede, but his play of late is really conjuring up Mats Sundin images.

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