The early days of Edmonton Oilers prospect Carl Berglund
8 months ago
Not every player gets a direct path to the NHL. Some players have to work their way through a variety of leagues to get to the show. Those guys can typically be some of the hardest workers around.
Carl Berglund was one of those players that took the path less travelled. He is a Swedish-born forward, who played in his home country with Farjestads Junior program. Shortly after, he joined Sioux Falls in the USHL and played 37 games there before heading to UMass-Lowell spending four seasons and being named captain in his final year.
Now, Berglund is a member of the Bakersfield Condors after the Edmonton Oilers signed him to a two-year entry-level contract, starting in the 2023-24 season. He joins a group in Bakersfield that is littered with former college talent including Dylan Holloway (University of Wisconsin), Carter Savoie (University of Denver) and Noah Philp (University of Alberta).
It is still very early into his professional career; however, Berglund has had a decent start. He has yet to score a point but shows great play away from the puck, which is what many reports suggested when the Oilers signed him.
In his first game with the Condors, that trait was strongly displayed. He showed good instincts to show support his teammates and help limit space for the puck carrier. Berglund made numerous reads to break up plays with his stick in potentially dangerous areas. Offensively, he finds the open ice giving support to the puck carrier all over the ice.
His instincts with the puck did not translate as well. Berglund was a secondary player on his line that allowed his teammates to do the work. He did find ways to force himself to the middle of the ice and become an option. However, he was not able to execute plays often enough to be effective. He needed to be a little harder on the puck to find more success. The positive is that he is getting to those areas and it was only his first game as a professional. Eventually, he will get to that point of production; after all, it was his first game.
Berglund finished 13:47 minutes played, which was likely more than initially intended. The following night against San Jose, he did see his minutes fall to 6:28, in what was a much tighter game.
During his time on ice, Berglund showed much of the same. However, he added in a much better faceoff performance going 100% (2/2) in the dot. It was impressive to see how good he is with his stick defensively and also the way he supports. His offensive chances were very limited, which prevented him from finding the chances he had the night before. He did have one shot on goal, which came from a ranging shot that was seeking a tip more than challenging the goaltender directly.
Overall, it was a good first couple of games for Berglund. His strengths showed and his weakness was apparent, but he is in the best spot to develop those skills. He has proven many times through his career that he can produce so there should not be a doubt that he can do that in Bakersfield.
For now, Berglund will be focusing on putting together another good game against the Calgary Wranglers tonight.
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