Acquired via trade on trade deadline day from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Martin Erat, Filip Forsberg is quite the young talent and has tremendous upside. As soon as Forsberg arrived in Nashville, he was immediately inserted into the lineup. In his first two games, the 18-year-old was up against Pavel Datsyuk and the Sedin twins of the Red Wings and Canucks, respectively. It was not an ideal situation for any young player.
"Well, it was kind of quick," Forsberg said. "I got in Saturday and played Sunday, so it was a pretty quick move. The first game was a bit of a shock and everything was much quicker than I'm used to. I got used to it more and I think my last game was best. Unfortunately, we didn't have more games last season."
Teammate and fellow countryman Patric Hornqvist certainly made him feel comfortable by giving him a place to stay when he arrived.
"It was a big thing for me to sleep in his house. I was kind of learning some stuff I should think about as a new guy on the team. He really took care of me and it was a great time.
"He was kind of like a dad to me."
Shortly after the season was over, Forsberg returned to his hometown of Ostervala, Sweden, where he hit a milestone of his life by graduating from high school. "It was great, of course," said Forsberg. "It was a big moment for me. I'm proud of myself.
"A lot of people asked me how it felt to play in the NHL, but [my life] was pretty normal. It's a pretty small town and everybody knows about [my debut], so it was pretty cool."
Last week, Forsberg returned to the Music City in order to participate in his first — and likely last — development camp with the organization. Two things he's been focused on improving during the offseason was getting stronger and getting up to pace with other current NHL-ers. The 6'1 forward looked smoother, stronger and more mature on the ice. Working with his former junior team, Frolunda Indians, has helped him accomplish his goal.
Said Forsberg, "You get to play against a lot of great players and see how great they really are. You know have to work hard to become as good as them."
When training camp comes in September, it will be up to Forsberg to be ready to display his skills in order to make the team in mid-October. With the new additions of Matt Cullen, Matt Hendricks, Eric Nystrom and Viktor Stalberg, it is going to make it difficult for players on the cusp of making the team — like Forsberg — to earn their roster spot.
"Of course, my dream is to play in the NHL and for Nashville. When I do, we'll see in the future. When I'm ready, hopefully I can take a spot."
(Photo by Sanford Myers/The Tennessean)