After a week of training camp, Washington Capitals for ward prospect Ludwig Persson and BIK Karlskoga (HockeyAllsvenskan) held their first preseason game on Friday night against AIK. Persson would score the first goal of the preseason for BIK. AIK would take the victory, 3-2.
“Fun to play, it’s been a while since I played a real game,” Persson said after the game. “We played a good game overall although we took a couple of penalties which gave them momentum. But we carried the game in the second half, created good pressure and could have easily put a few more pucks in there. It’s never fun to lose and the end is very unfortunate but at the same time that’s what happens in hockey, not least during the preseason. It’s just to learn from this game and come back stronger in the next game,” said Persson.
“The start of the match was full of speed and I immediately got to feel what it’s like to play here in the HockeyAllsvenskan. Then it’s probably the case that the first period for most of us was about getting into the stuff and finding the habits. In the second period, things worked out a little better with the puck, both the team and my own line created more and also got two goals. The third period, like I said, I think was really good from our side, we came down on them, kept the puck and created chaos in their defensive zone. We were close to pushing a few more pucks in. ‘Okay, good, better’ is how I would sum up the periods.”
While the rescheduled 2022 World Junior Championship is underway in Edmonton, Alberta, national teams are also busy beginning preparations for the 2023 World Junior Championship, set for December in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick.
Persson, 18, participated in Team Sweden’s 2023 World Junior’s preparatory camp in Enköping two weeks ago. He was one of 46 players invited to the camp, including Capitals prospect Alexander Suzdalev, selected in the 3rd round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
The camp included three exhibition games, where Persson made a very strong showing. In the first of the exhibition games, Team Blue downed Team Yellow 6-2, with Persson recording three points – two goals and an assist.
Persson, a 6’-0” center/left wing from Goteborg, Sweden, recorded 25 goals and 36 assists in just 41 regular season games for the J20 team last season. He played for Frolunda HC in the Swedish Hockey league last season, but will step down a level to play in the HockeyAllsvenskan league this season. He has a signed contract with Frolunda HC but will be on loan to BIK Karlskoga in the HockeyAllsvenskan league for the 2022-23 season. Again, Persson is just 18 and will turn 19 on October 8.
“I felt that I, as it looks now, I am not really ready to be a good player in the SHL. Karlskoga heard from me and was interested and I felt that playing here gives me an extremely good opportunity for me to establish myself on the next level and hopefully be able to take the next step in my development.”
The Washington Capitals announced on July 15 the signing of Persson to a three-year entry-level contract. He will earn $775,000 in each of the first two seasons of the deal and $800,000 (NHL) in the third and $82,500 in the AHL. The Capitals selected Persson with their third round pick (#85 overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
By Jon Sorensen