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"Hat Trick" Dick Axelsson

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My father sent this to me in an email, I don't have the actual link though. Does anybody have anymore info on this guy? I saw this article and now I'm interested... He parties a little hard? Is this going to hurt his prospect status? What's his deal?

A very different take on the Axelsson 'trade'

Posted by George James Malik December 16, 2008 21:38PM

Categories: Prospects

The IIHF's website has cranked up its news coverage by a substantial amount of late, and they've signed on the superb Risto Pakarinen to provide much better English-language news. Pakarinen offers this analysis of the transfer of Red Wings prospect Hat Trick Dick Axelsson from Djurgardens IF to Farjestads BK, filling in the contextual blanks that translations of articles simply cannot convey:

December 16, IIHF.com: Dick Axelsson, the Detroit Red Wings' second-round pick (62nd overall) in 2006, had an excellent season in 2007-08. In his first Elitserien season, the then 20-year-old Stockholm native scored 25 points (12+13) in 47 games, sixth-best in Djurgården. He also played six games with Team Sweden, scoring two goals, even if his season ended in a sour note when he had to leave the World Championship training camp after getting arrested by the police during a night on the town with his friends.

"We just don't need the negative energy around the team right now," head coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson said when he announced that Axelsson had been dropped from the roster.

Just a month ago, Axelsson, still with Djurgården, but on a loan from the Red Wings, was back with Team Sweden in the Karjala tournament in Helsinki, picking up an assist in three games. Then, a couple of weeks after the tournament, Axelsson was in and out of the Djurgården lineup, the team first citing problems with his back. Then in a week span, Axelsson went from third line to fourth line to - practicing with the Djurgården juniors.

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The arrest was the reason the Wings didn't bring him over to training camp this year. Holland was not impressed with the arrest. I would think he'd still be rated fairly highly but Holland does not like this kind of stuff going on with the team or its prospects.

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RWC REPORT: Axelsson 'won't make it' without changes

By Matthew Wuest - RedWingsCentral.com / December 15, 2008

If Dick Axelsson has any hope of one day suiting up for the Detroit Red Wings, his current work habits simply aren't going to cut it.

The 21-year-old forward was effectively kicked off his Swedish Elite League team this past week for poor on- and off-ice work ethic. Djurgarden didn't have the patience for him — despite five goals and seven assists in 18 games — and jettisoned him to Farjestad for the rest of the season.

The Red Wings, who drafted him 62nd overall in 2006 and are head over heels about his skill level, will be watching Axelsson's response closely.

"It doesn't matter if you're Henrik Zetterberg or Steve Yzerman or Dick Axelsson — if you don't work hard, you don't make it," said Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. "That's why Henrik Zetterberg and Steve Yzerman have made it, and until Dick Axelsson learns that, he won't make it.

"It's a good lesson for him. We'll see how he responds."

The Red Wings built a Stanley Cup champion on hard work as much as talent. Axelsson, who chief European scout Hakan Andersson compares to a "more skilled version of Mikael Samuelsson," has the talent, with size, skating ability, soft hands and a good shot. But he's there one shift, gone the next.

The 6-foot-2, 176-pounder also had a documented incident last spring when he blew his chances at representing Sweden at the IIHF world championship because he reportedly spent a night in jail for "drunk and disorderly conduct."

"He's a young kid who's been living off his skill level," Nill said. "Trouble is, every level you go up, everybody has the same skill level or better. If you're gonna make it, it comes down to work ethic. That's how you separate yourself."

Djurgarden was the worst team in the Swedish Elite League; Farjestad is a perennial contender that is currently third in the standings.

Axelsson had an assist in his first game with Farjestad. He skated on the first line with former NHLers Rickard Wallin and Lee Goren.

The Red Wings signed Axelsson to a three-year entry-level contract this past summer and would ideally like to see him in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins sooner rather than later.

* Defenseman Brendan Smith (Wisconsin, NCAA) fell short in his bid to make Team Canada for the world junior championship. Smith participated in the team's selection camp over the weekend and performed well, but was edged out by a eight-man unit that includes Alex Pietrangelo and Thomas Hickey.

Goaltender Thomas McCollum will be a key factor for the U.S. at the world junior, while forward Joakim Andersson will star for Sweden.

The tournament starts Boxing Day in Ottawa.

* Forward Ville Leino (Grand Rapids, AHL) has seen things go from bad to worse. He has just six assists in his past 14 games and just one assist in his past seven contests. Things really aren't going well for Leino, who looked ticketed for Detroit early in the year after a sizzling-hot start.

* Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (Grand Rapids, AHL) has been on the shelf with a minor shoulder injury recently, while high-scoring forward Darren Helm returned to the farm after a call-up to the Red Wings.

* Forward Gustav Nyquist (Maine, NCAA) continues to enjoy great offensive success in his freshman year. He has nine goals and seven assists in 16 games, tops on his team and among the Hockey East leaders.

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