Meet Your New Admiral, Calle Jarnkrok

Rick Stewart
Last weekend with Pekka Watch becoming Watch Pekka – there was a Finnish flag in the Bradley Center crowd. With the addition of Calle Jarnkrok – how about a Swedish flag? (Photo Credit: Rick Stewart)

The Nashville Predators traded David Legwand yesterday to the Detroit Red Wings for Patrick Eaves, Calle Jarnkrok, and a conditional 3rd Round Draft pick (2015).

Legwand was the lone figure I felt had the potential to actually ship out of Nashville at this trade deadline due to his contract expiring at season’s end and the organization not wanting another Ryan Suter scenario to unfold. What they wound up receiving was a veteran in Eaves, a prospect in Jarnkrok, and a future 3rd Round Draft pick that can be upgraded to a 2nd Rounder should the Red Wings make the playoffs this season.

All things considered this was a smart move for the Predators. Legwand is up in age, there isn’t a guarantee he was going to re-sign in free agency, and the team is in need to get younger and more skilled at the forward spot anyways. When you look at the Preds organization: goaltending and defense looks good in the present and future. What you don’t find enough of are players like they’ve been able to snag in the last two trade deadlines: Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok.

Jarnkrok is your prototypical Swedish Red Wings prospect (this face). This is his first full season of North American hockey. He played from 2009-13 with Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish Elite League where he played 185 games, produced 118 points (44 goals, 74 assists), recorded 40 penalty minutes, and had a plus/minus of -4.

He was selected in the 2nd Round (51st Overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He officially joined their organization late last season when he played in 9 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins: 3 assists and a plus/minus of +3. He did not participate in the Griffins Calder Cup winning playoff run.

It wasn’t until this season when he took part in a full-season of hockey in North America and he has done it all as a member of the Griffins. He is the team’s third highest scorer upon his departure: 57 games, 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists), 14 penalty minutes, and a plus/minus of +19.

According to David Poile, the pressure is not there for Jarnkrok to make the Nashville Predators in the NHL this season following the trade (source). That means he jumps ship in the AHL’s Midwest Division from the Griffins to the Milwaukee Admirals. Something that we should all like for plenty of reasons. The biggest of which comes at the core of the division itself.

What makes his acquisition a double-win is that the Admirals will not only gain his services – but the Griffins will lose his. Jarnkrok has played in 9 games this season against the Admirals. In those games he had 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) while maintaining a +4 rating without a penalty taken. He comes to the Ads off of his best month of the season in regards to scoring: 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) in 11 games… (this face)

The next steps taken are interesting in terms of Nashville and Milwaukee are concerned. Legwand’s spot in the Predators has been vacated for the first time since April, 1999. Who fills it up top and what is the long term future concerning guys in Milwaukee? Do centers with the Admirals get a better look up top this season or are more plans and moves going to take place over the upcoming offseason?

With the addition of Jarnkrok the Admirals now have five centers: Colton Sissons, Mark Van Guilder, Austin Watson, and Mathieu Tousignant. Not only does that mean another forward spot gets filled – but a center is likely to step out to the wing. I took to Twitter with my own projected set of lines to try and make sense of what could take place with the Admirals forward group come Friday night and came up with the following:

It’s seriously just a guess on my part. In no way is this a reflection of what the team plans on doing. Still, if this came to pass, that would mean guys such as Mike Liambas and Kevin Henderson would be on the outside looking in. I could just as easily see Tousignant and Saponari rotating on those lines of mine. I think a pairing of Van Guilder and Tousignant would actually be fascinating to watch and, with his speed, I like Tousi on the wing rather than at center. That would mean a combo that has worked out well-enough this season when done, Watson and Saponari. Downside would be the absence of a better pairing for Watson this season, especially on the penalty kill, of him and Henderson. I can see someone like Liambas also moving in and out of the lineup with Rask when the team needs to flex its muscle.

Lots and lots of variables. And I’m not expecting anymore of the ol’ dressing seven defensemen that we became used to every now and again for the Admirals – who could double-up Beck or Forsberg on two lines throughout the game as they work through an added defenseman.

I plan on attending this morning’s practice to get a look for myself of just what’s going on in terms of possible pairings on the ice. I will also be interviewing head coach Dean Evason to hear his reaction from yesterday’s trade deadline day – and as many players as I can regarding the same subject.

If you have any questions that you would like to ask – drop it in the comments! I’m always up for asking questions that get thrown my way (looking at you Shalla).

Before going here is a little fun fact. Calle Jarnkrok is set to wear the same number that he wore with the Griffins as a member of the Admirals, #12. The player who wore that number last for the Admirals? Jarnkrok’s teammate at Brynas IF in 2011-12, Mattias Ekholm (#12, 2012-13 season). The player that wore it before Ekholm? Jarnkrok’s teammate at Brynas IF in 2012-13, Andreas Thuresson (#12, 2010-11 season).

What are your thoughts on the return for David Legwand? Did the Predators win this trade? Did you expect more trades from the organization yesterday? Where do the Admirals go from here? Which forwards might be on the outside looking in?

5 thoughts on “Meet Your New Admiral, Calle Jarnkrok”

  1. Those top two lines are almost NHL ready or are ready. Then Leipsic should be coming if only for the AHL playoffs. It’s an exciting time for the Ads and nice look at the Preds’ future.

  2. Well, this is depth that hasn’t been seen in these parts in a long time. On any given night 3 AHL worthy players are going to be watching from the stands, and one of the goalies will have to go to Cincy just to get to the roster limit of 23. I don’t know that the Preds call up anyone since Eaves replaces Legwand bodywise, the trade adds a prospect and a fairly high draft pick for a guy who someone is going to overpay anyway. Now if they can resist adding any more bad free agent deals it should clear some space for the youngsters.

  3. No question this is a great addition for Milwaukee, and adds another big time skilled player to the Admirals lineup to go along with Taylor Beck and Filip Forsberg. Who sits out? I’m guessing that will rotate based on matchups and who is up in Nashville if the Predators truly fall out of NHL playoff contention.

    My only concern is that Nashville has now acquired both Calle Jarnkrok (what a great hockey name!) and Forsberg via trade. Obviously, you can never acquire too many talented players with the ability to play in the NHL, but what does this say of the drafted prospects currently in Milwaukee? Has the road to Nashville/NHL just got a bit longer for Beck, Austin Watson, Colton Sissons and Miikka Salomaki? Will we see these four guys elevate their games during the stretch run?

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