Jacob Peterson was thrown into the SHL playoffs with Frölunda, after having spent the season on loan to Björklöven in HockeyAllsvenskan (Swedens second division) where he posted 27 (14+13) points in 49 games, due to an injury to Pathrik Westerholm.
While injuries are unfortunate it benefitted the Dallas Stars prospect who got a chance for more time on ice, an opportunity Peterson grabbed with both hands. Peterson became an integral part of the Frölunda team that won the LeMat trophy after beating Djurgården 4-2 in the finals of the SHL.
“It is terrible with injuries to teammates. I was fortunate to benefit from it this time, I got the opportunity to go in and play my game and to do what I could and it turned out to my benefit,” Peterson said. “A good player should have a bit of luck, this time it was me”.
In the playoffs Peterson posted 8 (4+4) points in 16 games in what would be considered much tougher opposition than HockeyAllsvenskan. The season in Sweden’s second tier benefitted Peterson in many ways; “I think the time spent with Björklöven has given me a lot, first and foremost I have matured as a player and as a person. I got to play a lot, in all situations, and it has given me a lot of confidence. Now I have the confidence to hold on to the puck, it has been a very important season for my development.”
It certainly prepared Peterson for the playoffs, even if he himself can’t really understand what has happened. “It has almost gone too fast for me to really enjoy this, I came back to Frölunda just a few weeks ago.”
Dallas has been keeping a close eye on their centre during the playoffs and his phone has been buzzing since the final whistle on Thursday night. “I have spoken a lot with Dallas, we have spoken after every game and everyone has sent me congratulatory text messages after we won here.”
That Dallas has been keeping in contact during the playoffs has meant a lot for Peterson and he is keen to pay back the compliments he has received, pointing to the next opportunity he will have to show off his newly minted confidence to the Texas public. “Development camp should be a blast, and to go there as a national champion is giving me even more confidence. It’s always great to go over to Dallas,” Peterson said.
“I have a contract with Frölunda for another year, and I look forward to play here next year too. I don’t think I can fight for a spot on the Stars roster yet, so I will play in Sweden next season.” The IIHF agreement with NHL means that a player not taken in the first round and that has a valid contract with a European club will have to go back to the European team instead of staying in AHL, and another year in the top club in Sweden might be a good thing for the young forward.
With almost 40,000 people waiting for the chance to celebrate the championship in Gothenburg, Peterson still had time to think about the future. “Everything is bigger in Texas - I hope to win a championship there too.”