Philip Broberg is supposed to return to Sweden this weekend. In an ideal world, he’d be cut on Saturday afternoon following the team’s scrimmage. He’d head back to Sweden, attend camp with Skelleftea, and play in the SHL in September.
The first hint of change came eleven days ago when veteran Mike Green opted out of the playoffs. That opened the door for Broberg to potentially make the team’s playoff roster. On Wednesday, President of Hockey Operations and GM Ken Holland confirmed that’s exactly what will happen.
“As far as Broberg goes, I talked to his agent Darren Ferris and his European agent and I talked to Philip, the Skelleftea general manager,” Holland began. “The plan was he was going to come over here for Phase 3 and when we go into the hub, the plan – and I’m talking about a plan from a month ago – the plan was that at about Friday or Saturday of this week, he was going to go back to Skelleftea.”
Broberg instead impressed during camp, flashing off his skills during scrimmages and getting the assembled media excited about a player that looked ready to go. He also caught the eye of coach Dave Tippett, and apparently of Holland, too.
“We think he’s played pretty well. I’ve informed Skelleftea and talked to Darren Ferris, and I talked to Philip Broberg a couple of days ago to tell him that we’re going to take him into the hub with us,” Holland announced. “We’re going to go in with ten defencemen and it’s up to the coach to determine how they’re all going to be used. He’s a young player but he’s played very well here in the early going.”
Broberg will now get a unique and unexpected opportunity. He’ll continue to work with NHL coaches in NHL practices, and will now get to meet his new teammates in an intimate setting. You want to talk about team bonding? How about being put in a bubble that you can’t leave for at least two weeks, ideally longer?
It’s an experience that Holland believes can only help a player still eligible to play junior hockey.
“He’s 19 years of age, he’s junior eligible this year to play in World Juniors,” Holland continued. “I think it’s been a fabulous experience for him to be around an NHL training camp every day now for ten days. It’ll go on at least for another couple of weeks that he’ll be around our guys. I think it’s going to be really good for him and his development.”