Kulfan noted that, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Berggren is a fan of playing on 200-foot-long-by-85-feet-wide ice despite growing up playing on the 100-foot-wide European rink:
“It’s difficult, you have much less space and time,” Berggren said Friday. “But I like it, too. You need to be 100 percent ready all the time when you have the puck. I like to make hard plays and give my teammates good spots to score. I like it when it’s pretty tight and it’s harder out there on the ice. I like when it’s smaller ice.”
Berggren, in his first taste of pro-caliber North American hockey, certainly looked offensively capable, assisting on two goals in the Wings’ 5-4 victory over Dallas on Thursday night in Traverse City in the Prospects Tournament.
Playing on a line with past first-round picks Joe Veleno and Lucas Raymond, Berggren showed glimpses of the offensive skill scouts raved about.
“The first practice is a big difference with the smaller ice, but when you get to the games you just focus on the games and don’t think about it,” Berggren said. “I just play my game that I have played all my life.”
Berggren recognizes that for him, rookie camp is merely the appetizer. If he wants to dine on an NHL per diem, he’ll need to shine when main camp opens later this month.
“That’s the big test for me,” Berggren said. “That’s like my Olympic Games when the main camp starts. I will just give 100 percent and do my best to take a spot.”
He wants to be a Wing sooner rather than later but realizes how much of a challenge is ahead of him to make Detroit’s roster this fall.
“Of course I would be disappointed,” Berggren said of the thought of not making the NHL roster out of camp. “If you don’t be disappointed, it’s like you don’t care.
“I would do all I can for a spot in Detroit but if they want me to play some games in Grand Rapids, I would take it and just do the best I can every day to take a spot in Red Wings.”