Halischuk a good fit with Swedish pair
Friday, 07.17.2009 / 4:57 PM / Features
By Eric Marin
Halischuk has been on a line with Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson for most of rookie camp.
newjerseydevils.com – Matt Halischuk may have been the only one on his line that didn't speak Swedish, but creative playmaking needs no translation.
The Toronto native has spent the majority of this year's rookie camp skating on a trio with Swedes Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson, the Devils' last two first-round draft picks. The six-day camp concludes with Saturday's 10 a.m. scrimmage which is open to the public.
"It's been fun," Halischuk said. "They're so dynamic and quick and fast, it's been a fun couple of days."
So far, communication hasn't been a problem. They make for a small but talented threesome. Josefson is the tallest at 6-0, followed by Halischuk at 5-11 and Tedenby at 5-10. Each hopes to become an important piece of the club's future.
"Once you get on the ice, it's a pretty universal language," Halischuk said. "You just kind of read off each other and know where guys are. They're definitely two great guys to play with."
New Jersey's fourth choice, 117th overall, in 2007, Halischuk made his pro debut last season and notched 14 goals and 15 assists with Lowell (AHL). A November leg injury limited him to 47 games, and though he returned in January, he said it took three months to get it feeling the way he wanted it to.
"I've been working hard on it this summer, and it's coming around," he said.
Halischuk has shown an offensive upside, having scored a career-high 33 goals and 33 assists with Kitchener (OHL) in 2006-07. He also potted the gold medal-clinching goal for Canada in the 2008 World Junior Championship.
He got a taste of a two-way game last year with the Devils' American Hockey League affiliate. He saw time on both the power play and penalty kill in Lowell, and was recalled last October, recording an assist versus Toronto on Oct. 29 in his lone NHL appearance.
"I got an opportunity to do everything in Lowell," he said. "We would have set lines for a few games in a row, but I had the chance to skate with quite a few great players down there."
Halischuk added: "I'm looking forward to getting into training camp."
On Friday, lines were juggled, moving David McIntyre between Tedenby and Halischuk. Josefson centered Vladimir Zharkov and Nathan Perkovich. Tedenby scored four times, while Josefson and Zharkov each scored in White's 7-2 rout of Black.