Josefson's dream comes true with Devils
Josefson dons the Devils jersey Friday at Montreal's Bell Centre.
MONTREAL – He's a two-way Swedish forward who idolizes Henrik Zetterberg, but more than anything, Jacob Josefson is excited to be a New Jersey Devil.
Josefson said it was a dream come true when the Devils selected him 20th overall in the 2009 Entry Draft on Friday. He was one of seven Swedes taken in the first round.
New Jersey moved up by sending the 23rd and 84th overall picks to Calgary. Rounds two through seven begin Saturday at 10 am ET.
A 6-0, 187-lb. center, Josefson was the third-ranked European by Central Scouting behind Tampa's second-overall pick Victor Hedman and Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi, who went 10th overall to Edmonton. Seven
Josefson won silver with Sweden at the 2009 World Junior Championships, and had seven points (2g-5a) in six games of the Under-18 World Championships. The native of Stockholm skated for Djurgarden's senior elite team last season, collecting five goals and 11 assists in 50 games.
TSN's Pierre McGuire offered this analysis: "Josefson should help with a transition towards a younger foundation up front for the Devils."
When asked about his style of play, Josefson talked about penalty killing and his responsibilities at both ends of the ice. However, there are some parts of his game he'd like to adjust. For one, he'd like to learn to be a little more selfish on the ice – just not the way you might think.
"When I come in on 2-on-1s, I want to learn to look for the shot before the pass, instead of the other way around," he said.
Josefson had a case of nerves Friday morning, but "in a good way." The 18-year-old was slated to go anywhere from 10th overall to 25th, it was just a question of where. He had mom, dad and his two older brothers along with him for his special moment at the Bell Centre.
"Every hockey player wants to be an NHLer – it's really nice," he said.
Josefson is friends with fellow Swede Mattias Tedenby, whom the Devils selected 24th overall last year after trading down twice. He called Tedenby a "tremendous player," and added that Tedenby had high praise for the Devils organization.
Josefson indicated he will play one more season with Djurgarden, but looks forward to hitting the ice with his new club as soon as he can.
"Next year would probably be too soon," Josefson said, "but I would love to join the team in the future."