We continue or prospect review and forecast series with a review and forecast for Axel Jonsson-Fjallby. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
The Capitals signed Jonsson-Fjallby (20) to a three-year entry-level contract on a May 2nd, 2018, for $860,000 average annual value (AAV). Jonsson-Fjallby will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2022 and will be waivers-exempt for the 2018-2019 season.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby started early with Djurgardens J18 team (14) and has stayed in the Djurgardens system ever since. Joining the Hershey Bears this fall will be the first time he’s stepped outside of that system.
Statistically, he’s never been a huge points-producer for Djurgardens, but he’s always played with teammates much older. It will be interesting to see how his transition goes, and with time, if he begins to increase his point totals.
2017-2018 SEASON SUMMARY
The 2017-2018 season saw Jonsson-Fjallby play his first full season in the Swedish Hockey League (Djurgardens) where he registered seven goals and nine assists in 42 games played.
His high-water moment for the season actually came during the World Junior Championships where he made several eye-popping plays. Our piece on his play at the tournament, along with highlight video can be read here. A translated interview with Jonsson-Fjallby conducted after Sweden’s victory over the Czech Republic can be found here. His break-away speed is on display in the second highlight video.
Another high-point for Jonsson-Fjallby this season came in the postseason when he scored a pair of goals in a playoff game on March 24th against Linköping (recap and video here.) Overall, he has five goals and one assist for six points in postseason play.
2017-2018 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Axel Jonsson-Fjallby during the 2017-2018 season.
Fjallby is getting his first full season-look at the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), the top-tier hockey league in Sweden, and considered the best hockey league in the world after the NHL and KHL. He isn’t exactly off to a hot start, with three goals and two assists in 14 games. But it’s important to take into consideration that he is the second-youngest player on the team at 19-years old, which means he might not be trusted as much as other players. It’s also important to note that his fifth points are good enough for seventh on the team. The six players in front of him are aged, in order from most points to least: 29, 35, 29, 21, 28, and 23. So his five points actually looks quite impressive. In fact, only four players in the whole SHL in the under 20-years old category have more points than Fjallby in this early season. Two of them are top prospects in the upcoming draft: Rasmus Dahlin and Isac Lundestrom. The other two are Elias Pettersson, the fifth overall pick last summer by the Vancouver Canucks, and Tim Soderlund, a fourth-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks. That’s some good company to be a part of. Keep an eye on him in this year’s World Juniors U20 Tournament.
Fjallby hasn’t done too much since the last update. In seven SHL games since, he’s only posted one goal and one assist to give him four goals and three assists in 21 games played this season. Again, it’s important to remember he’s the second-youngest player on the team, so ice time probably isn’t too abundant for him. He needs to find a nice stride in December, before he heads to the World Junior tournament around Christmas.
Fjallby has opened eyes with his play in the 2018 World Junior Championship at the end of the month. His blazing speed on the ice is most notable, but he also shows excellent ice awareness and the ability to create plays. Fjallby”s contract with his SHL team, Djurgardens, runs out this spring, so look for the Caps to potentially make a move in signing him in the near future. Fjallby has one goal and two assists in the WJC. Axel registered one assist in seven games in December, bringing his total to four goals and four assists in 28 SHL games this season.
Axel had a pretty good showing in the 2018 World Juniors, scoring two goals (both shorthanded) and two assists in seven games for Team Sweden. Fjallby continued his great play after World Juniors, adding two assists and two goals in three SHL games in January, bringing his total to six goals and six assists in 31 games. Those numbers aren’t staggering, but he is the second youngest player on his team, so he isn’t getting prime minutes. The world saw just how good he was in the World Juniors, so hopefully his team starts to trust him more.
Fjallby played six more games in February, adding just one assist. His season total is six goals and seven assists in 37 games in the SHL. He’s still stuck on the 4th line, since he’s the 2nd youngest player on the team, but it’s still good he’s able to stick in the SHL with the men.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby has had a pretty good playoff series for his team, Djurgarden (Swedish Hockey League), as Djurgarden beat Linkoping in five games. He scored one goal in the team’s first game on March 18. He scored the game-winning goal in Game 3 in a game they won 4-3 on March 22. On March 24, he scored the first and the last goal for Djurgarden in a game they won 4-2. He scored one goal on March 26 when the team won 5-4, won the series, and advanced to the Semi-Final round of the Swedish League playoffs. Overall, he has five goals and one assist for six points in postseason play. His five goals currently leads the Swedish Hockey League in playoff goals which is impressive since his team has played just five games, while other teams had to play the full round of seven games. His six total points are just one point behind the leaders, who are in a five-way tie for first. Djurgarden does not resume action until April 3 when they begin their series against Skelleftea. According to HockeyNews.se, Capitals Assistant General Manager Ross Mahoney was in attendance to watch a recent game of the Capitals’ 2016 fifth-round draft pick, but did not meet with Jonson-Fjallby. According to Fjallby, he was not aware of Mahoney’s attendance, and has never met with Mahoney. The article also states that the Capitals will extend an offer for an entry-level contract as soon as Djurgarden’s postseason run is completed.
Axel Johnson-Fjallby will cross the pond this fall and join the Hershey Bears. We may be the most excited about this particular addition to the Bears. (That, and the addition of Samsonov). It will be interesting to see how Jonsson-Fjallby’s speed-game transitions to the American game. Envisioning an all-speed line with Gersich and Fjallby is enough to buckle one’s knees.
Jonsson-Fjallby will be tested defensively this season, and will likely require a majority of the season to acclimate to the North American game. However, don’t rule out a midseason call-up just so Caps brass can get a better look. This will be a fun watch for all Bears and Caps fans.
By Jon Sorensen