WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO JAKOB FORSBACKA-KARLSSON?

Whatever happened to Jakob Forsbacka-Karlson? JFK, as he was known to Boston Bruins fans, was part of that infamous 2015 NHL Entry Draft, selected by Boston in the second round, 45th overall. He was being labeled by many as Patrice Bergeron Light.

He was coming off a good season with the Omaha Lancers in the USHL when drafted – scoring 15 goals and 38 assists in 50 games. He was committed to Boston University for the 2015-2016 season and as a sophomore scored 10 goals and 20 assists in 39 games – pretty good numbers. He also represented Sweden at the World Junior Championship Under-20, scoring once and adding 4 helpers. Things were looking promising.

During the 2016-2017 season where JFK was named an Alternate Captain with Boston University, he scored 14 goals and added 19 assists in 39 games while demonstrating he was on his way to being a solid two-way pivot.

Following his season, he wanted to turn pro and it is believed the Bruins wanted him to spend one more season in the NCAA. They eventually signed him and allowed him to play one NHL game and burn a year off of his entry level contract.

Things started off pretty well during the 2017-2018 season for JFK. In 58 AHL games he scored 15 goals and 17 assists. The following season he had 7 goals and 9 assists in 28 games in the AHL and even spent 28 games with the Big Bruins in the NHL – 3 goals and 6 helpers.

JFK’s offensive game was diminishing. So, he decided it was best for him to head home to Sweden to find his game and the Bruins agreed. However, his offensive game didn’t materialize back home either. In three seasons with Vaxjo Lakers HC and Farjestad BK of the SHL, JFK combined for a total of 90 games. He scored just 10 goals and 16 assists in that time, while going pointless in 6 total playoff games. He went from .56 points-per-game in the AHL to .31 in the NHL to .29 in the SHL. Needless to say, the decision to head back home was a failure, at least in hockey terms. You shouldn’t be putting up more PPG in the NHL than the SHL, at least in theory.

And then….

Some, including yours truly, believed that JFK had his sites set on a return to North America. NHL camps and exhibition games are well under way and AHL camps have begun and there hasn’t even been a peep. In this case, no news is not good news.

To further complicate things, European leagues are already underway and he has yet to find a home in one of those leagues, including the KHL.

One has to ask: Why would a player terminate his contract with a year remaining on the deal to seek out other opportunities before he had an agreement in place with another team and league?

As for the Bruins, I don’t see a fit. They have a logjam at the NHL and AHL levels already and spots with the Maine Mariners are filling up fast as well. Obviously, they could trade his rights – which they own until 2024 – but is he worth even a seventh-round pick to someone?

Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano

Published by Dominic Tiano

Following the Ontario Hockey League players eligible for the NHL Draft. I provide season-long stats, updates and player profiles as well as draft rankings.

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