CHL Opponent Preview. Farjestad BK

Fajestad comes to Krakow from Karlstad, Sweden. They compete in the SHL, the best hockey league in Sweden and one of the best in the world. Farjestad has been the SHL champion nine times with their most recent championship coming in 2011.

Last season Farjestad finished with a record of 20-13-10-9 and loss in the quarterfinals of postseason play. In the off-season, they lost Justin Pogge,  Martin Roymark, Mikael Johansson, Rickard Wallin, Travis Turnball, Nicklas Arell, Johan Olofsson,  and Antti Tyrväinen. Pogge played 26 games posting a .922 SV% and 2.10 GAA and formed a good duo with Lars Haugen. Johansson was the team’s second-leading scorer with 40 points and lead the team in assist with 28. While Johansson and Pogge are huge losses and Farjestad also lost some other good pieces lets look to see what the roster currently stands now.

Goaltenders

Farjestad’s starting goalie is Lars Haugen.

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Lars Haugen in net with Team Norway at the 2014 Olympics. Photo Credit to Marin Rose.

 

Haugen, a member of the  Norwegian national team goalie, goes into his second season with Farjestad before that he played with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL. In both the KHL and SHL, Haugen has never posted an SV% below .906 or a GAA above 2.77. Haugen’s back up is Stefan Steen, who is new to the club. Last year Steen played with the Växjö Lakers HC in the SHL. Steen appeared in 16 games last year posting a .888 SV% and a 2.60 GAA. He has 10 CHL games under his belt.

 

Defensemen 

Almost all of last season’s defensive core returns. The group is lead by Farjestad captain Magnus Nygren. Nygren a draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens is an offensive defenseman and very important to Farjestad’s attack. His 26 points last season were third on the team, lead all Farjestad defensemen and were good for 8th most for defensemen in the league. Also returning is Ottawa Senator’s prospect Mikael Wikstrand. Wikstrand did not play a full season last year due to some problems with the Senators about where he would be playing, but when he got the ice he was very effective putting up 9 points in 17 games and adding 3 assist in 5 playoff games. Former NHL defenseman,  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen brings toughness and experience to the team. Two-way defensemen Jonas Holos and Sebastian Erixon also return along with defensive-minded Tomas Skogs. The only new defenseman is Anton Grundel. Grundel is new this season but had played his entire career with Farjestad up until last season where he was with Karlskrona HK. Grundel is a two-way defenseman with really good speed. Overall Farjestad’s defense is solid with Nygren and Wikstrand commanding a scary power play.

Forwards

Farjestad needed to replace the offense they lost in the offseason and what they lose mid-season when Robbie Earl signed in NLA.  Their biggest addition was former NHL forward Tim Stapleton who had 27 points in 43 games last year in the NLA. Stapleton has great speed and can play all three forward positions. The team is also welcoming back one of its former leading scorers in Per Aslund. Aslund played in the DEL last year posting 17 points in 40 games. They also added three solid two way players who all hit double-digit points last season with Bjorn Svensson, Anders Eriksson, and Alexander Johansson. The final new addition is Marcus Nilsson. Nilsson lead the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second-best league, in points last season. Farjestad should be able to count on Rasmus Asplund for more production too. Asplund was taken 33rd overall in this year’s NHL entry draft. Asplund had 12 points in his draft season and that should increase this season. Farjestad should also expect more from 6’5 center Johan Ryno, Ryno put up 17 points last year after having a combined 71 points in his two seasons before joining Farjestad. The best news for Farjestad is Milan Gulas returns to the team for a fourth season. Since he joined the club midway through the 2013-14 season Gulas has been one of the team’s top scorers. His 45 points last year lead Farjestad and were 4th in the league. The offense is more defensive minded but still is very dangerous

Schedule

August 19. 19:30. Comarch Cracovia vs Farjestad BK

September 10. 15:00. Comarch Cracovia at Farjestad BK

 

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