Buffalo Sabres Claim Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Off Of Waivers

The Buffalo Sabres announced on Monday that they have claimed Washington Capitals’ forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby off waivers. Jonsson-Fjallby was placed on waivers by the Capitals on Sunday, with the intention of reassigning to Hershey.

Fjallby, 23, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Capitals in 2016. He tallied 15 points (10+5) in 31 games with AHL Hershey last season. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals on May 1, 2018, for $860,000 AAV and received a two-year extension on June 7, 2021.

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 mark for the season 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 came in the 2018 postseason when he scored a pair of goals in a playoff game on March 24th against Linköping (recap and video here.) Overall, he had five goals and one assist for six points in postseason play.

AJF had a decent training camp with the Washington Capitals prior to the 2018-2019 season, but was ultimately 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 to return 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 the previous 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. AJF scored seven goals and five assists in 19 postseason games.

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. Video of his postseason goals can be found in the related links at the bottom of this article.

Following the conclusion of Djurgarden’s postseason, Axel was reassigned to Hershey on May 6th, but he did not see any action for the Bears.

The 2019-2020 season was technically a rookie season for AJF. He recorded 12 goals and 11 assists in 61 games played before the season was cut short by the pandemic. He was third in points and second in goals among all Bears rookies. AJF was a major contributor to Hershey’s highly-ranked penalty kill, rarely taking penalties, with just 10 penalty minutes on the season.

Due to the pandemic and shutdown of hockey in North America, Jonsson-Fjallby was loaned to Vasterviks IF in the second tier of the Swedish Hockey League at the beginning of the 2020-21 season. He recorded just four goals and 11 assists in 26 games played before being recalled to Hershey.

You could see the difference in his game this season. Jonssson-Fjallby recorded 10 goals and five assists in just 31 games, nearly matching his career highs in just half the games. But it was the little things in his game that began to standout. His puck battles, play in tight spaces and along the boards, often the biggest challenges for European players transitioning to North American rink sizes, had shown vast improvement this season. Bears head coach Spencer Carberry made it clear at the beginning of the season that Axel needed to shoot more, be more selfish with the puck and that message has been received.

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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10 Responses to Buffalo Sabres Claim Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Off Of Waivers

  1. Anonymous says:

    Crap. 💩

  2. Brianna says:

    Goodbye Axel I will always miss you

  3. Scottlew73 says:

    You can thank GM BM OR KUZY for this,if the first could’ve dumped the other this summer just add his name to LONG list of young talent this teams let go for nothing!!

  4. DC Scappeli says:

    Why couldn’t he replace Hagelin and help the cap space? Oh that’s right; BMac said he’ll keep going all in as long as Ovi and Nicky are here. Which means it doesn’t really bode well for the young talent if BMac is always going to use veteran, experienced players. Well, how can these young guys get experience if they never get a chance? Like Sieganthaler—no room for him and they didn’t give him a sweater and then bam! He gets moved to NJ

  5. horn73 says:

    yeah, how will we every replace a 4th line prospect….great kid, but better for him to be in Buffalo

    They got a pick for Siegs – go take someone’s spot. if not, c ya!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Caps will be making tee times early this year. What a mess. Most expensive 4th line in hockey and thinnest D. Not wasting money on Center Ice this year.

  7. hockeydruid says:

    Keeping the old and letting the young walk. Guess Ted is more impredded payiung high salaries than he is with winning. Somewhere along the line management has to lkearn to say :Thansk for the time but no thanks to any more” and hand then a watch and show them the waiver wire as well as the door. Sad but Backy seems to be in thsi situation.

  8. Jon Sorensen says:

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