The Detroit Red Wings have added two forwards to the roster, recalling Jonatan Berggren and Givani Smith ahead of their game tonight. The moves follow Matt Luff’s injury and come before a four-game road trip that includes three California games starting this weekend.
Smith, 24, played 46 games last season for the Red Wings and has already suited up twice this year, adding his patented brand of physical hockey to the bottom six. The young forward racked up 108 penalty minutes last year, to go along with four goals and seven points – all career highs. He projects as a fourth liner or extra forward at this point, bouncing up and down whenever needed.
It’s Berggren that will draw much of the attention, given the unknown upside that he brings. The 22-year-old Swede was selected 33rd overall in 2018 and developed into a star in Europe before coming to North America last season. In 70 games for Grand Rapids, he scored 21 goals and 64 points, impressive totals for a player experiencing the exhausting AHL schedule for the first time. This year, he’s back with seven points in seven games for the Griffins and will now presumably get his first crack in the NHL.
Whenever he does make it into the lineup, Berggren will be making his NHL debut. It’s not clear when that will be, however, as just yesterday head coach Derek Lalonde told reporters including Ansar Khan of MLive that David Perron and Oskar Sundqvist would be healthy enough to go tonight.