Leafs' Calle Jarnkrok shining in top-six role

Playing on a line with Auston Matthews, Calle Jarnkrok's finishing ability is looking like top-six standard. Jarnkrok set a new career-high in goals (17) with his two-goal performance in the Leafs shootout win over Ottawa.

Video Transcript


OMAR: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of "In the Mentions." I'm TicTacTOmar.

And let me take you down a flashback. Let's think back to September 2022, where we're in the preseason, where defense doesn't matter. And Calle Jarnkrok on the line with Matthews and Bunting score two goals against the Ottawa Senators. So now we rewind to present day, where Calle Jarnkrok gets reunited with Auston Matthews in the top six and scores two goals against the Ottawa Senators.

The Jarnkrok signing overall was another signing that a lot of Leafs fans were confused about. It was kind of similar to the David Kampf situation, but different because we didn't know who David Kampf was, and now he's playing and it's like, OK, yeah, he's actually pretty decent. But Jarnkrok has had a track record of being a pretty most solid and consistent goal scorer amongst like teams that he's played for his entire career. He's good for about like 15 goals.

Now personally, the thing that used to frustrate me about Jarnkrok is that I saw how lethal his shot was, just the release and the speed, and I wasn't seeing it enough. But if you had that on a consistent basis in an area where you can get a lot of offense, like, again, in the top six, who knows what he can commit he can produce on a consistent basis. And now he's doing that. He has run with Tavares on the second line. And again, now he's getting his shot with Matthews and it works, and it looks like it is working.

And even though it was one game, I wonder if this is a move that Sheldon Keefe runs with for a long time. Because again, I like the idea, I like the awareness that Jarnkrok has. He knows where to go. He knows the focus is going to be on Auston Matthews. And because of that, he opens them up-- he opens himself up for chances and for shots.