Professional Spotlight: Niklas Svedberg
The following feature appears in the October 15th edition of the Boston Bruins Prospect Report. Download the complete report, which includes features, upcoming games and statistics on all Bruins prospects, by clicking here.
BostonBruins.com—New Providence Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg has earned both of his club's wins on the young 2012-13 campaign en route to a promising 2-1-0 record, a 2.59 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.
However, going into the season, P-Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy admitted that he didn't know exactly what to expect from the young goaltender, signed by Boston as a free agent out of Stockholm, Sweden last May.
"No one was really sure what we had, in terms of how he was going to play in North America," said Cassidy of the former Brynas backstop. "We knew that he was a champion [in Europe].
"What we’ve seen out of him, he’s very athletic…[and] he doesn’t quit on anything. I saw that in practice.
"He’s back there and he’s battling every minute for you."
"Battling every minute" sounds like a description that Bruins fans would appreciate, but beyond Cassidy's encouraging critique, Svedberg simply appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the organization so early in the season.
"First of all, it was nice to get two wins," said Svedberg of his first two contests. "It was a long time since I’ve played a game.
"There's some things to work on — like rebounds — and some of the goals I wasn’t happy with.
"You’ve just got to keep working hard every practice," he said.
Some of those hard working practices include tutoring from B's goaltending coach Bob Essensa, which Cassidy thinks will continue to help the 23-year-old netminder.
"'Goalie Bob' works with his technique," said Cassidy. "There’s some issues there that he’s going to have to work on like every other young goaltender."
Those issues aside, Svedberg hopes to improve even more as he acclimates to the AHL.
"The biggest difference for me, that I’ve noticed, is the smaller space behind the net and the end zones, which we don’t have back home," said Svedberg. "We play the puck much more here…so I’ll be working a lot on that; my stick technique.
"There’s a lot of traffic here so you’ve got to work your ways to see the puck and everything.
"But I'll try to play pretty much the same game as I’ve been playing before and pick up some small details here from...Bob who’s helping us out," he said.
Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney sees potential, but wants to see Svedberg continue his progress.
"He had a real solid weekend a couple of weekends ago, and then took a little bit of step back this past weekend," said Sweeney, noting the young netminder's work in two P-Bruins losses. "The amount of time he has to play the puck has been a bit of an adjustment…for him; maybe where shots come from, and how quickly they come from areas, as opposed to the bigger [European] ice surface when the shots are on the outside.
"So I think overall, he’s made a good adjustment," concluded the former Bruins defenseman, "but there’s room for improvement."
Svedberg remains ready and willing to make those improvements, and in the meantime is simply looking to pick up some more "W's" for his club.
"It’s always nice to get a good start when you come to a new place," he said. "That’s obviously a good feeling and most of all I’m happy with the wins.
"That’s all that matters at the end of the day."