Forsbacka Karlsson will make his NHL debut today vs. Caps


BOSTON – While Bruins fans work themselves into a frenzy hoping to see the likes of college prospects Anders Bjork and Charlie McAvoy in a Boston sweater, one other college hockey alum/B’s prospect, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, will be making his NHL debut on Saturday.

The 20-year-old from Sweden and Boston University will be replacing the scuffling Ryan Spooner in the lineup as a third-line center between Matt Beleskey and Drew Stafford, and will get a chance to show just ready he might be for regular NHL duty next season. 

He also may get a chance to play himself into the lineup for the playoffs if he can show a willingness to fight for his ice, defend well and make the third line a factor that the other team has to account for.

“He’s like a lot of young guys around here going about his business right now,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s a solid 200-foot player, so I expect him to play to his strengths and show us what he’s got. He’s a nice kid and seems very cerebral, and really understands when you’re talking systems and things with him.”

JFK finally had his work visa paperwork approved by US immigration on Thursday afternoon and took part in pregame warm-ups at TD Garden prior to the shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Forsbacka Karlsson was excited at the prospect of getting into a game when he spoke with reporters on Friday, and now he’ll get that shot just ahead of Boston’s playoff run.

“If I’m in there I’m just going to play my game, and make sure that I’m focusing on a strong, two-way game,” said Forsbacka Karlsson, who finished his sophomore season at BU with 14 goals and 33 points in 39 games. “I would say I’m up to speed [with the systems]. Obviously you pick up stuff every day, but I think the video sessions are pretty helpful. They’ve kind of taught me a little bit.”

Cassidy also said that Colin Miller and Tim Schaller would both be back in the lineup for the Black and Gold against the Capitals, which should make for some different-looking groups than we’ve seen over the past couple of games.

But all eyes will clearly be on Forsbacka Karlsson, a young guy that might potentially be able to step in and upgrade a B’s third line that’s been far too unproductive and irrelevant the past month. 


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