For Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, It’s “Shoot First, Shoot First, Shoot First”

Photo: @Capitals

Washington Capitals’ forward prospect Axel Jonsson-Fjallby is happy to be playing hockey in North America again. He spent his recent hiatus from the game during the COVID pandemic playing for Vasterviks IK of the HockeyAllsvenskan league in his home country of Sweden. And while the experience in Sweden was good for Axel, he ultimately missed playing in the American Hockey League (AHL).

“I kinda missed the north american hockey. I’ve grown to like it. It’s been good for me to play over there (Sweden), even though it’s different hockey,” said Jonsson-Fjallby following Saturday afternoon’s 4-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Giant Center.

Jonsson-Fjallby has now played in 88 AHL games, spread over three seasons, and is starting to find his groove. He has four goals and an assist in his last five games with the Bears, including this gem on Saturday.

For Bears head coach Spencer Carbery, the message to Axel is simple. Shoot the puck.

“He’s got a phenomenal shot. He doesn’t use it enough. And he loves to pass,” said Carbery following Saturday’s game. “He loves to try to make passes when he should be shoot first, shoot first, shoot first. Because it’s hard to pick up. His release is difficult to pick up.”

Jonsson-Fjallby’s long-distance shot on Saturday may appear to be a bit of a fluke to some, but Carbery says that his shot is particularly difficult for goaltenders to track, and he’s scored a lot of goals that way.

“The goal tonight, you may say, you know, well it’s not a great goal, it’s from outside. Fair. But he’s scored a lot like that. And our goaltending coach Alex Westlund and I have had conversations. His shot, it has movement on it. It’s like that fastball that moves. So we just continue, shoot, shoot, shoot.”

Jonsson-Fjallby is getting the message. He talked about his long-distance snipe, saying he decided to shoot rather than chip the puck into the zone. “Honestly I felt like I didn’t have a lot of options to make a play. I could have just chipped it in, but I just figured I’d throw it on net and it went in.”

Jonsson-Fjallby had two goals on Saturday. His second tally came from much closer range. Axel found open space in front of the goal, thus creating a passing lane to receive the puck, finishing the play with an easy redirect.

Jonsson-Fjallby is just starting to find his game in North America. “The start to his year, I think was a little bit getting back comfortable to playing in north america and now he’s really going,” said Carbery.

Jonsson-Fjallby continues to work on his game, with the ultimate goal of making the roster in Washington. For now he’s focused on working on the small details. “It’s just the small details in the game. Wall plays, making the right decisions in certain situations.”

Jonsson-Fjallby and the Bears next face the Binghamton Devils in Newark, New Jersey on Friday. Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to For Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, It’s “Shoot First, Shoot First, Shoot First”

  1. Pingback: Tuesday Caps Clips: Capitals vs. Devils Game Day

  2. Marky says:

    Nice to hear that from the Bears coach. It sounds like he has a chance next year or the year after if his development continues. Nice to have the coaches say shoot to him as the team needs a littte more of that as evidenced by what Lavs has been telling the big club.

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