Red Wings prospect Albin Grewe has been receiving limited ice time playing for Djurgardens IF of the SHL, and, as a result, Grewe still wants to come over to North America if and when the OHL season ever gets underway. What follows is roughly translated from Swedish:
“If it starts, I’ll probably go over”
It has been a season full of uncertainty for Albin Grewe. And despite the fact that we will soon be in February, the forward honestly does not know if he will end the season with Djurgarden or in North America.
“It’s clear that it’s still in my head to start it, I will probably go over,” he says to Hockeysverige.se about a possible move to the junior league OHL.
It has not been fun to be a farmer lately. Six straight losses at home at Hovet Arena means a historic suite of the negative kind. Add to that a very well-publicized ripping of the players after Tuesday’s loss to HV71 signed by sports director Joakim Eriksson.
Forward Albin Grewe shrugs his shoulders when the criticism from Eriksson comes up.
“We talked about it within the group and just said that what is said must stand for him. We believe in each other in our locker room and must continue to fight. Nobody wants it to be like this, but there is nothing more to do than rub on and work to reverse the trend,” says the 19-year-old, who is also not happy with what he’s achieving on the ice.
“It feels hard right now. We do not succeed within our game as a team and I do not succeed very well. It’s tough.”
Grewe himself has had a season that in many ways can be considered strange and special. Firstly, he wasn’t going to play in Djurgarden or even in Sweden. The plan was to move to North America and play for the junior hockey league’s Saginaw Spirit of the OHL.
“From the start, I would have been in the U.S. already in AUgust, but now I am still in Sweden and that part has not been a problem. I get to play here and it’s been fun. Then we will take it from there and wait until I could start over there…”
But that has not happened. We are almost in February and Grewe still plays SHL hockey with Djurgarden. It’s still unclear whether there will be any OHL season at all due to the pandemic.
“I haven’t heard very much. They postponed the season even later into February, so now it has been postponed indefinitely. I really don’t know. The only thing I’m thinking about right now is helping the team get out of this slump.”
Have you mentally stopped going there?
“It’s clear that it’s still in my head to go over to start it, and I will probably go over. But I try not to think about it too much. If I hear from them and they say it’s time, then I can take it on then. But now there is no start date, either, so there’s not much to decide upon.”
“ONLY WHEN THEY WENT HOME DID IT RELEASE”
There was the painful miss of the World Junior Championship. Grewe tested positive for covid-19 just before leaving for Edmonton–even though he had already contracted covid once before. The Swedish team management tried to appeal the test result because he had several negative tests after that, but the strict Canadian rules meant that he was still not allowed to follow the Junior Crowns across the Atlantic.
“That with the WJC was tough for me. I fought all season and gave everything to be there, and should have been there, too…” he says, and falls silent.
How long did it take to release it?
“It took time, I must be honest and say that. Now I got to play games here which was also very fun, but the WJC was the big goal I had, and this was my last year for eligibility, so it was very tough throughout the tournament, really. It was only when they came home that I released it.
What support have you had during the period?
“I have my family, the coaches here, and since I have talked a lot with Niklas Kronwall as well. There are many who have supported me, so it’s been nice to be able to talk to them and get it out of my system.
GRATEFUL FOR KRONWALL
Niklas Kronwall in particular has become an important mentor for many young Swedish hockey players. Albin Grewe, like several other star players born in 2001 and 2002, was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, where the former star defenseman played his entire successful NHL career.
Nowadays, Kronwall acts as a player developer under the auspices of the Red Wings, and he supports the players that the team has drafted.
“He watches my games and we talk through quite often. Then we agree in the weeks how I feel, how I train and take care of myself. It works very well, we have good talk and he helps me a lot. It is appreciated,” says Grewe.
How is it that he is a guy with such big merits as his ballpark?
“It’s very good. He has been through a lot and knows what is required over there [in the NHL]. I’m just trying to listen, take in and learn from him.
Albin Grewe is on his way to the final sprint of his junior career. He turnrs 20 in March and will be considered a senior player from next season on. He also does not know where he will play then.
“We’ll see. I have an expiring contract now in the SHL, and we have not talked to Djurgarden yet about any extension, either. We’ll see what comes up, and what Detroit says as well. But it’s not something that I’m thinking about right now. I’m just trying to do what I can on the ice.”