Roughly translated: Jonatan Berggren speaks with about making the Swedish national team

Red Wings prospect Jonatan Berggren spoke with’s Johannes Hagglund yesterday, and here’s a rough translation of their conversation:

Jonatan Berggren: “Proud and ruggedly happy”

Finally injury free, now Jonatan Berggren has exploded. The 20-year-old is third in SHL in points and he received a reward from the national team management in the form of a spot on Tre Kronor’s Karjala squad—even though it took time before Berggren answered when Markus Akerblom, assistant national team manager, heard from him. “He disturbed me when I played Fortnite, so he had to call three, or four times,” says the Skelleftea forward, who laughs.

Karjala Tournament will be played at the end of this week, and in the team we will find eight players from the SHL who will make their national team debut. One of them is Skelleftea forward Jonatan Berggren .

“Unbelievably fun. A positive surprise,” says Berggren.

Berggren received the message that he had earned a spot on the Karjala squad from Tre Kronor’s assistant national team captain Markus Akerblom, but it took a while before the 20-year-old answered when Akerblom would announce the positive message.

“He disturbed me while I played Fortnite, haha. He called three, four times before I saw that it rang,” says Berggren.


The Enkoping-SK-educated forward moved to Skelleftea when he was 16 years old. He made his debut in the SHL during the 2017-2018 season, but over the course of the last two seasons, when the idea was that he would establish himself, and take the next steps forward, injuries have disrupted his development. In 2018-19 he played in only 16 games, and last season he played in 24, but now he has been injury-free, and thus, Berggren has shown why the Detroit Red Wings drafted him in the second round, as number 33 overall, 2018. The 20-year-old has already posted 16 points and is third in the entire SHL’s scoring.

“I have created many previous years, but now it has been more goalpost-and-in than goalpost-and-out. Of course, I am glad that it has gone well,” says Berggren.

Has already now, after 13 games played, broken a personal record in terms of his number of points during an SHL season, and he admits that he has been a little frustrated during his previous seasons that the points have not come at the pace he had hoped for.

“Of course it has been [frustrating]. When the puck does not go in, it takes away your self-confidence. I would say that I am a scorer, and the more points I post, the better I feel, I would say.”

How did you handle it when it went a little dry in terms of scoring points?

“The most important thing is still that you play a good game. If you create a lot, the pucks fall in in the end and I have noticed that this season,” he says.

Mature reasoning.

“It is my brother (Jesper, 31) who has said it,” says Jonatan Berggren and he laughs.

Where has your brother meant to you?

“He has followed me and he was my youth coach in Enköping. You have to give him a little credit, but it has not always been easy. When I had a bad game, he stood and shouted at me and I shouted back at him. But something good has come out of it.”

What have you learned from him in particular?

“It’s a thousand things. He is more just a pusher,” says Jonatan Berggren.

You do not want to give him too much credit?

“Haha, exactly. If I say too much, I’ll hear it for the rest of my life.”

Three Skelleftea players in the squad

Berggren is not alone from Skelleftea on the Karjala Cup Team. Andreas Wingerli and Jesper Froden are also going to Finland, which Berggren appreciates.

“It provides security. I do not know many guys here. There are some I have encountered and played with, but it is a security blanket to have Froden and Wingerli, with whom I know very well,” he says.

How much have you followed Tre Kronor while growing up?

“I have watched all the World Championship tournaments and sat on the TV couch whenever the national team has played. It has been a big dream to play in the national team. I am proud and ruggedly happy,” says Berggren.

“Dad would have been proud”

An important person for Jonatan Berggren who, however, will not be able to see his national team debut, is father Hakan, who died of cancer when Jonatan was 13 years old.

“He would have been proud [of me]. He was the one who made me start playing ,and he taught me everything about skating, which I thought was really boring then, but which has helped me a lot. I’m very grateful for that.”

He put a lot of pressure on just skating?

“Yes, we did a lot of skating exercises. I just wanted to play with the puck, but I always had to do those exercises at the beginning of the ice sessions,” says Berggren.

The Tre Kronor starts the Karjala Tournament on Thursday against the Czech Republic.

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.