Tuesday's Elitserien Scores

"Big Joe" keeps rolling...

Johan Harju had 2 goals and 1 assist helping Lulea to overcome a 4-1 deficit to defeat Timra 7-5. Both of Harju's goals came at even strength, one into the empty net, and Harju's assist came on the game winning goal with under 6 minutes to play in the game. The 2007 draftee also had 2 penalty minutes in the match.

Harju is currently tied for tenth in the Elitserien in scoring with 10 points in 12 games. His 8 goals on the season tie him for third in the league, and his 3 power play goals ties him with 6 other players, including former Lightning prospect Eero Somervuori, for fourth in the league in markers with the man advantage. Weep at what could have been this season Norfolk fans.

Elsewhere, Andreas Holmqvist had an assist in Frolunda's 5-1 win over Brynas. Holmqvist has 1 goal and 5 points in 13 games this season with 2 penalty minutes and a +4 rating. He has primarily played on Frolunda's top pairing with Ronnie Sundin.

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It Was a Disappointment

When Harju was drafted, I read up on his stats and was impressed then. But then I know that sometimes big scoring over there doesn't translate to big scoring over here (Andreas Karlsson come to mind). But Harju has a big upside.

At age 21 I wouldn't think he would need some extra time in the Swedish league nor would he be eligible for the juniors in order to develop physically to take the rigors of North American hockey. He's listed at 6'3" and 205 pounds.

So when it was decided that he would continue to play over in Sweden this year, I was to say the least disappointed from the standpoint of a Norfolk fan. He would have given us a definite shot in the arm offensively this year considering Lascek and Smolenak are not playing anywhere close to their potential as evidenced by their being in MS right now.

I can only hope that if Harju continues to perform in the Elitserien as he is now, that Feaster and the powers that be make a real concerted effort to bring him over next year. If it is decided to give contracts to Fadden and Tyrell as well, the three of them could play in Norfolk next year. And to me that sounds pretty good.

Karlsson

As the resident Karlsson apologist, I feel the need caution not to close the book on him (not that you are). It took him almost the full season to adjust to the North American style, which was disappointing, but once he caught on he was quickly one of Tortorella's chosen ones. The timing of the injury in camp could not have been worse as he had a good camp.

From what I understand, Harju's game could translate a little quicker to NHL play.

Tyrell

Tyrell will be too young to play in the AHL next year, but Fadden and Harju would definitely be huge additions to Norfolk.

Re: Tyrell

This is his 4th junior season, so he will be elligible to play in the AHL next season.

http://proicehockey.about.com/od/collegeandjuniorhockey/f/nhl_juniors.htm

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