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Versatile forward Silfverberg settling in with Ducks

by Sean Farrell

OTTAWA -- Jakob Silfverberg got a call from Rome shortly after he learned he had become a member of the Anaheim Ducks as part of the trade that saw the Ottawa Senators acquire Bobby Ryan. It came from All-Star defenseman and now-former teammate Erik Karlsson, who himself was just coming to terms with the news.

"He was obviously very shocked at the moment, and so was I," said Karlsson, who was celebrating his anniversary with his wife in Italy when he learned his fellow Swede had been traded. "I didn't expect that on my vacation."

Neither did Silfverberg, who made a solid impression in his first NHL season with Ottawa, contributing 10 goals and nine assists while playing all 48 games.

Jakob Silfverberg was caught off guard by his offseason trade from the Senators, but he's settled in with the Ducks and shown why the team coveted him as part of the Bobby Ryan deal. (Photo: Debora Robinson/NHLI)

"I didn't see it coming at all," Silfverberg said Friday prior to his first game back at Canadian Tire Centre. "Of course, if you get traded you start wondering why you got traded and that kind of stuff. But looking back to my previous season I think I played well and I can't say I'm disappointed in myself or anything like that. I'm happy where I am right now."

Karlsson, who won the Norris Trophy in 2011-12, was surprised the 23-year-old right wing's tenure with the Senators proved to be so brief.

"He's under development and I think he's someone that I thought was going to be here for quite some time. But these things happen," Karlsson said. "We had to give something good up to get something good and unfortunately he was part of that trade. Anaheim probably recognized that he was going to be a pretty good player."

In addition to Silfverberg, Ducks general manager Bob Murray obtained right wing Stefan Noesen, who was chosen No. 21 by Ottawa in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft, as well as the Senators' first-round pick in 2014.

Silfverberg was the element that sealed the deal for Anaheim and his early play has paid dividends for the Ducks.

He has seven points in 10 games, including four goals in his first four games.

"He's been fine," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Maybe I haven't played him as much as I should, I'm thinking because he's sort of a jack of all trades. He can be an offensive guy or he can play in a defensive structure as well. I've used him in a lot of different areas, from penalty killing, power play, from checking line to scoring line to back, and I think maybe I've got to find a permanent home for him."

Cited as a solid two-way player, Silfverberg was also recognized for his shot by his former teammates.

"If you give him time and space he can create a lot," Senators right wing Chris Neil said. "He's got an unbelievable shot, and I think to get a good player like Bobby Ryan you've got to give up a good player."

Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner got to see plenty of Silfverberg's shooting prowess during practices with the Senators, as well as with Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

"We know he was going high glove all the time, but it kind of didn't matter because his release is so fast," Lehner said. "Some players have their stick behind them when they shoot, and he's one of those kind of guys who can have it in front of him and somehow it's a missile that just goes wherever he wants it every time. He's scored a lot of glove goals on us and he does that in games too."

Jakob Silfverberg
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 7
SOG: 32 | +/-: 5
His 32 shots rank second on the Ducks to Corey Perry's team-leading 36. But Silfverberg has no special insight on how he has developed his shot.

"It's tough to say," Silfverberg said. "I've been lucky so far. I try to take a lot of shots in practices and even after practices. It's just a matter of practicing and taking a lot of shots in games as well as in practices."

Ryan acknowledged that he checks up on Silfverberg's contributions to his former team.

"Yeah, I do a little bit," Ryan said. "Mostly I was wondering who he was going to play with there and what they were going to do with him in that regard. I saw he had a really nice start with a couple [of goals] right out of the gate.

"I don't know him, I just know that the guys in here liked him and that he was a good guy in the room so I was happy for him. But at the same time, you've got to think it's a healthy competition. I want to do better than that guy, right? There's no sense of anger or resentment towards the guy but you wonder how he's doing and you want to make your team feel like they've won the trade. I think that's the big thing for any player that gets moved."

The comparisons work both ways. For his part, Silfverberg is well aware of Ryan's attributes.

"He's a very skilled player," he said. "I mean, he scored 30-plus goals in four seasons so it was a big trade. I'm not trying to compare myself to Bobby in any kind of way, but it was a pretty big trade."

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