DETROIT – The Red Wings signed another member of their 2010 draft class, securing Swedish center Calle Jarnkrok to a three-year, entry-level contract on Wednesday.
Jarnkrok’s signing makes it five prospects – including centers Riley Sheahan and Louis-Marc Aubry, forward Teemu Pulkkinen and goalie Petr Mrazek – to enter the Wings’ fold from the 2010 draft.
Sheahan made his NHL debut in the Wings’ regular-season finale in April.
Jarnkrok gained notoriety at this month’s World Championship in Stockholm by making the Swedish national team despite being just 20-years-old, which spoke volumes for his skill level.
“He’s a good young player and one of our top prospects,” said Jim Nill, the Wings’ assistant general manager. “He’s close to the NHL already.”
Playing along side NHL stars like current Wings Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen and Jonathan Ericssson didn't discourage Jarnkrok, who had an assist in the eight games. But he also finished second in the tourney by winning 67 percent of the face-offs that he took.
“It’s great for your development and great for your confidence,” Nill said. “Playing with a Zetterberg and Kronwall like he did only helps get you to know how close you are and how far away you are, too.”
The Wings selected Jarnkrok in the second round, 51st overall, in 2010.
Jarnkrok just finished his third Elitserien season with Brynas where he’s collected a combined 31 goals and 45 assists in 132 games. He will play for Brynas next season, before he’s likely to become eligible to play in Grand Rapids for the 2013-14 campaign.
The Wings would like to get a closer look at Jarnkrok at training camp in the fall, Nill said, but the Swedish team first must grant Jarnkrok permission to attend the camp in Traverse City. Because he's a European player under IIHF guidelines, he either has to make the Wings or be sent back to Brynas, and certainly with the Wings’ depth, there's little chance Jarnkrok could crack Detroit’s roster.
The last remaining unsigned 2010 draftees are forward Brooks Macek (sixth round, 171 overall) and defenseman Ben Marshall (seventh round, 201 overall).
Macek finished his fourth WHL season in Calgary where he produced 14 goals and 24 assists in 54 games for the Hitmen. He will not be offered a contract by the Wings, making the 20-year-old eligible for the June draft.
Marshall, 19, was a freshman at the University of Minnesota last season, where he collected four goals and nine assists in 41 games for the Gophers.
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