On The Brink

Tim Lucarelli





At the start of the 2008-09 season, the number 25 overall selection of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Patrik  Berglund, made the jump from the Swedish leagues straight to the NHL. He had just won a silver medal at the WJC before and did not fail to impress in his rookie year, scoring 21 goals and 47 points in 76 NHL games.


The following season however, Berglund would fall victim to the sophomore slump, scoring only 13 goals and 26 points in 71 games. Patrik spent the majority of that season paired with winger David Perron. While Berglund was drafted number 25 in his draft year, Perron was taken with the 26th choice the following year. Both players were deemed to be bright, budding stars for the Blues, so naturally they were given plenty of time to develop chemistry. Unfortunately for the Blues, these two never clicked. Perron's production stayed about the same as the prior year, but Berglund's dropped significantly.


In late November of that 2009-10 season, St. Louis acquired a former 24th overall selection who took a path to the NHL quite similar to Berglund. Alex Steen had worked his way up the Swedish leagues a bit further (Elitserien) than Berglund, but also performed well in the other Swedish leagues while also playing for Tre Kronor from the time he was 16 years old all the way until he joined the NHL. He also made the jump straight to the NHL and to do this day, neither Steen nor Berglund have played a single game in the American league.


Steen and Berglund wouldn't skate together much that year, but in the following season Berglund would skate over 40% of his even-strength shifts with Steen. The chemistry between the two was obvious and the confidence of the 6'3", 220 lb. Swede was returning.  While Berglund finished his season with seven points in eight games, he carried the confidence over into the World Championship in Slovakia. Berglund's eight goals and two assists in eight games have him tied for the tournament lead in goals and second in points. Patrik carries a plus-six rating in the tournament and has been one of the key reasons why Sweden is competing in the gold medal game.


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