We continue our prospect review and forecast series with a review and forecast for winger Axel Jonsson-Fjällby. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Axel Jonsson-Fjällby (AJF) is a 21-year-old winger from Stockholm, Sweden. He spent the beginning of 2018-2019 season with the Hershey Bears in the AHL (16 games) before exercising a contractual option and returning to Sweden to rejoin Djurgården in the Swedish Hockey League.
AJF was a 5th round draft pick (#147 overall) by the Capitals in the 2016 NHL entry draft. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals on May 1, 2018, for $860,000 AAV.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby has been with the Djurgarden organization since 2013-2014, making his first jump outside of Sweden last fall. He began his international tournament plan and participation with Team Sweden in World Juniors in 2015-2016 season. Axel’s career numbers:
His numbers with Djurgarden in the Swedish Hockey League:
2018-2019 SEASON SUMMARY
AJF had a decent training camp with the Washington Capitals before being re-assigned to Hershey on September 26. He played in 16 games with the Bears, registering two goals and an assist, before exercising an option in his contract and returning to Sweden.
AJF’s regular season with Djurgården was disappointing, scoring just one goal and nine assists in 36 games played. At one point late in the regular season, AJF was even a healthy scratch.
However, the postseason was another story for AJF. Part of his battle cry last summer was wanting to win a title for Djurgården. He fell one game short of that goal, losing to Frolunda in game 7 of the SHL final on May 2, 2019. In this year’s playoffs, AJF scored seven goals and five assists in 19 postseason games. Talk about ending on a high note.
A majority of his postseason goals came on nice defensive plays/steals of the puck in his own zone, and rocketing down the ice, outskating the opposition, and finishing one on one with the goaltender. His potential value on the penalty kill was on display this postseason. Video of his postseason goals can be found in the related links at the bottom of this article.
Update: Following the conclusion of Djurgarden’s postseason, Axel was reassigned to Hershey on May 6th.
2018-2019 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2018-2019 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
After starting the season with rumors swirling that Jonsson-Fjallby was considering returning to Djurgarden, his home team in the Swedish league, Axel settled in to life in the AHL. Jonsson-Fjallby played in all 11 games for the Bears in the month of October, registering one goal and no assists. He’s still learning the American game, but his speed and ice awareness have already been on full display, and had a number of breakaways. He will need to finish on those breakaways in the coming months. He will also need to work on his play along the boards, but this too will take some time. Axel will also need to shoot more, as he registered just 10 shots on goal in the 11 games he played. Jonsson-Fjallby began work on the penalty kill at Capitals training camp, and has continued to play on special teams in Hershey.
Jonsson-Fjallby opened the month of November with a dazzling score against Rochester on November 2 (here). During the game broadcast, Bears announcer Zack Fisch noted that there is still a possibility that Jonsson-Fjallby still returns to Sweden, and that he was a bit homesick. In the end the rumors about Jonsson-Fjällby returning to Djurgården happened to be true. After putting up three points in 16 games with the Hershey Bears, the Swedish winger used his out-clause in his contract to go on loan to his former club over the 2018-19 season. Jonsson-Fjällby is a fan favorite in Djurgården and made manyfans happy with his arrival.The Stockholm-native has played four games and has put up two assists, averaging 14:54 minutes per game. The points aside, he still gives a lot to the team with his work ethic and speed all over the ice. He is playing on a line alongsidefellow NHL prospects, and also brothers, Marcus and Jonathan Davidsson. Together they have previously shown good chemistry and they all bring different elements to the game, where Jonsson-Fjällby acts as a power forward. Djurgården has been a force this year and are contenders for lifting the Le Mat Trophy as winners of SHL this season. Being amongst a winning team instead of the struggling Hershey Bears may be the best for Jonsson-Fjällby in the end.
Other than an assist Jonsson-Fjallby recorded with the national team, the Swedish winger hasn’t recorded a point since last month. Jonsson-Fjällby averages about 13 minutes of play each night, and plays big minutes on the Penalty Kill, but his production has been lower than expected. He has only managed to get five shots on net in the last seven games of play. Jonsson-Fjällby isn’t the only one to struggle on his team Djurgården though, the whole team has been falling through the ranks last month after being in the top of the standings for the start of the season, the Stockholm-club now is in seventh place, trailing leaders Frölunda with 11 points. A tough month for the speedy winger for sure.
In the month of January Jonsson-Fjällby was noted for three assists in nine games with Djurgården, and averaging about 13 minutes per game, top 9 minutes. No real improvement, nor the opposite during the last month. For the season, since returning to Djurgården, he has no goals and six assists in 21 games played, down from his offensive production in Hershey. Hopefully his production starts soon, but so far, not so good.
In seven games played in February, Jonsson-Fjällby managed to put up one assist in the point column, continuing his scoring drought. With the strong end of the last season in mind, the Capitals rightfully could hope for more from the Swede, this should be his breakthrough party. He is still young, and the picture of that it’s a player with character, willing to work hard, so the Capitals shouldn’t give up on him. .
In the month of March, Jonsson-Fjällby had some good nights with points. Against Mora on March 9, the winger managed to score his first goal of the season along with an assist. Other then that game, Jonsson-Fjällby only managed to record an assist in those games. This left him with a total of 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in the regular season, which must be looked at as a bit under decent for him, with the expectations in mind. But as we have been over before, this proves that the Swede may be more of a grinder. He has been part of a good team, who currently is in the playoffs. Where Jonsson-Fjällby has played fourth-line minutes in the first two games, but after that some light shone on him. On March 29, Jonsson-Fjällby scored two goals and lead Djurgården to a win, after a stunning performance from him. Jonsson-Fjallby showed what he can do when everything is clicking for him and the Capitals likely hope he finds it more often moving on.
AJF returned to Sweden last fall in hopes of winning a title for Djurgården. He fell one game shy of doing just that, losing to Frolunda in seven games. It’s hard to imagine AJF wanting to return one more season, just to get to win one more game and get that championship, but you never know. His future is in Hershey, and last years mid-season departure has set him back. He needs to focus on his North American game from here on out, if that is truly a goal of his.
AJF has a lot of flash but don’t forget, he’s a 5th round pick. His blazing speed on the ice is his meal ticket to bigger and better things.
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Axel Jonsson-Fjällby Continues To Heat-Up in SHL Post Season
Capitals’ Prospect Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Scores Two Goals in Djurgården Playoff Victory
Capitals Prospect Axel Jonsson-Fjällby Finally Breaks Out Of Scoring Slump
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby’s Struggles Continue In Return to SHL
Capitals Prospect Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Selected For National Team
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Returns to Sweden
Axel Jonsson-Fjällby is Adjusting To Life in Hershey and the American Hockey League
Bears Beat Penguins 3-2 For First Win Of the Season; Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Scores First Goal
Reports of Capitals Forward Prospect Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Returning to Sweden are False
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Capitals Prospect Axel Jonsson-Fjallby: “I have to know if I’m ready for North America or need a season in Sweden”
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By Jon Sorensen