May 22, 2012

The lowdown on Swedish goalie Niklas Svedberg

By Jesse Connolly

Here’s what we know for certain about Niklas Svedberg, the Swedish netminder who’s gotten B’s fans scrounging for any news regarding the Black and Gold talking in the last 24 hours: 

  1. He is in fact Swedish.

  2. It’s true, he is a goaltender.

  3. He’s reportedly signed a contract with the Bruins, but the team has not indicated that anything is official as of yet.

Hunting down information on players in European leagues is no easy feat – especially ones without previous NHL experience. Wikipedia is hardly any help in this instance. Here’s Svedberg’s entry in its entirety:

Not exactly the most insightful piece of information, right?

Hockey DB indicates the 22-year-old has been playing in the SEL for the majority of the past five seasons. Here’s a little rundown on his hockey history:

  1. He had a rough go of it in four appearances for Modo from 2007 to 2009 and spent most of the 2008-09 campaign at a lower level with Huddinge IK, where he appeared in 24 games (no stats available).

  2. The following year, he spent the entire season with Modo and had a .900 save percentage in 32 games. On a more interesting note, he had 22 penalty minutes that season, perhaps providing some evidence for those on hockey message boards that have stated he’s a little hot-tempered.

  3. Svedberg has suited up for Brynas IF these last two seasons. In 2011-12 he split starting duties 50-50 and had a 2.47 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 29 games.

Brynas IF were crowned champions of the Elitserien this season, with Svedberg reportedly playing a huge role. Some have said that he was the backup that emerged to lead them to glory, but it’s hard to say the guy who got 29 starts in 57 games is your backup.

Google Translate makes things even harder in our effort to learn about the newest member of the Bruins, but thankfully YouTube always has our backs. There’s probably video evidence of Svedberg showing off his slick netminding skills, but these were the two most interesting clips I could find:

  1. Based on this farcical flop, it’s unclear whether Svedberg is Sweden’s next Henrik Lundqvist or Ingrid Bergman. 

  2. Svedberg also likes to aid his team’s cause while on the bench. Here’s a great example, which shows him seeing an opponent falling toward the boards and promptly opening the bench door to alter his fall. 

There is still much to learn about Niklas Svedberg, but now at least we have some idea of what the mysterious Swedish netminder is all about.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.