JFK recalled, no timeline for McAvoy
B’s give Forsbacka Karlsson a chance at third-line center
As the Bruins continue to shuffle their lines, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is getting a chance.
The Bruins recalled the center from AHL Providence on Friday morning, and he’ll go into the lineup on Saturday night against the Maple Leafs.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “This is where I want to be. It’s just a great feeling.
“I got a little more experience this time, I know what to expect,” he said. “I’m ready and excited.”
Forsbacka Karlsson has one goal and three assists in nine games with Providence this season. Known for his 200-foot game and attention to detail, he still had a lot to work on out of training camp when it seemed he had a shot at making the team.
“We liked his training camp,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We didn’t think he was ready to start here. But he made some plays, he didn’t get scored on. We wanted him to go work on certain things we’ve addressed. Up the compete battle in terms of winning pucks.”
Forsbacka Karlsson played in one NHL game in 2016 after he left Boston University before spending all of last season in the AHL. He totaled 32 points on 15 goals in 58 games with Providence.
“There’s a reason why you’re up here, so go out there and do the job the best you can,” said Patrice Bergeron. “It’s cliche but it’s kind of how it has to be. Like the rest of us, it’s being on the puck during battles and the rest will fall.”
JFK was one of three prospects to compete for the third-line center spot in training camp along with Trent Frederic and Jack Studnicka, but none of them earned the role.
With Frederic in Providence and Studnicka back to junior hockey, where he leads OHL Oshawa in scoring, the Bruins have been trying to plug the hole ever since.
“We’ve looked at that third line spot and had guys rotate in and out of there,” said general manager Don Sweeney. “(JFK) had done some good things early in training camp. He’s had some really strong games.”
With Forsbacka Karlsson in the middle, for now, the Bruins will move David Back- es back to the wing. He and Anders Bjork rotated in practice on Friday on that line, and Cassidy wouldn’t commit to who would sit on Saturday night.
“He’s a centerman, so he’s going to go play center on the third line,” said Cassidy. “He’ll have Danton (Heinen) on the left wing. He had Backes today but could have a different right winger.”
After his injury was shrouded in mystery the past couple of weeks, Sweeney said defenseman Charlie McAvoy has been dealing with symptoms.
“Charlie’s timeline is such that he had similar issues around training camp,” said Sweeney. “But coming out of the Edmonton game he had a talk with some of our doctors and medical staff that were concussion more concussion symptoms. At that point in time we sent Charlie home. He’s clearly been in protocol since and progressing.”
McAvoy skated before practice on Friday morning, but there is still no timeline for his return to game action.
His status has been clouded. McAvoy has been out of the lineup for weeks, but a concussion wasn’t announced as the reason for his absence until Friday.
“He had some on-and-off similar issues,” said Sweeney. “Coming out of Edmonton was the first time he said, ‘I don’t feel right.’ At that point in time, the symptoms he described and talking to our doctor, we sent him home.”
The game in Edmonton where he suffered what is now being described as a concussion came on October 18.
“When somebody has those symptoms, you diagnose them with a concussion.” said Sweeney.
He also had some symptoms in China during the preseason where he didn’t feel well, but the current issue is related to the hit he took against the Oilers.
ONE MORE LOOK: Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (center) is expected to make his first appearance with the Bruins in 2018 tonight against the Maple Leafs at the Garden.