This past week, I wrote about the fact that despite the NHL being locked out, there are things going on that should peak the interest of Jets fans. One of the main attractions that I mentioned are the St.John’s IceCaps, who just kicked off their 2012-13 season.
The team is filled with intriguing Jets prospects, that could easily be called upon to make an impact in Winnipeg once the season finally starts. One of those guys is Carl Klingberg, who was one of the leading point getters for the ‘Caps last season.
I had the opportunity to talk to him recently, about a medley of subjects.
Click Past the Jump to Read the Chat.
Dimitri Filipovic: You have been in North America for just two short years, yet you have already played in four different cities (Winnipeg, Atlanta, Chicago, St.John’s). Have you viewed that as a great experience along the way as part of your development, or has it made it more difficult to get settled?
Carl Klingberg: Both. I was drafted by Atlanta, and I’m grateful because that showed a lot of trust. But Winnipeg is a great team to play for. It’s good to see how things are different in different organizations. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter to me. If you’re good enough, you’ll play a lot!
DF: With the lockout, there will be plenty of NHLers in the AHL to start the year. Do you view it as a great chance to prove to the Jets that you can hang with the ‘big boys’?
CK: That’s exactly my thinking! It’ll be tough to put yourself in a good spot given the competition, but if you’re able to do it, you put yourself in a great position to show that you can play.
DF: Last year, you had a run of 6 games with the Jets. What was your biggest takeaway from that stretch? What opened your eyes the most about the NHL game?
CK: Mostly the crowd, but also that the step up is very big. Not big enough that it isn’t within reach, though. It’s faster, but you get into the pace of it very quickly.
DF: In that six game span, you were fortunate enough to arrive right in the midst of a long homestand. How crazy was the atmosphere at the MTS Centre? Have you ever played in front of a crowd like that before?
CK: It was definitely the best crowd that I have ever played for. As I said, it was unbelievable. It was honestly like having a 6th player out there playing for your team.
DF: You had 16 points in 20 games at St.John’s before being called up to the Jets. When you were sent back down, you struggled on the score sheet (21 points in 46 games). How come? Was it simply a case of you needing to adjust back to the AHL game after getting your first legitimate taste of NHL hockey?
CK: It’s hard to say. If I knew the answer, then it wouldn’t have been so tough. I think that there were a lot of factors, and that’s honestly my biggest thing that I’m looking to improve upon this season – being more consistent.
DF: Who are you closest with on the IceCaps? What do you guys usually do to kill the time in St.John’s?
CK: I have a lot of really good friends on the team, so it’s hard to name just one in particular. But right now I’m rooming with (Patrice) Cormier. We’re really good friends, and we usually hang out with the two Russians on the team (Telegin and Burmistrov). We usually just do regular things, like watching movies, going out for dinners, and playing video games.
DF: What are your personal goals for the 2012-13 season? What facets of your game would you ideally like to improve on the most?
CK: To be more consistent. I’m looking to play the best I possibly can on every shift, every period, and every single game. I’m trying not to look more forward than that. I believe that if you think too much about certain goals in terms of points, it could lead to disappointment. My goal is to take it one step at a time.