After a full year of seasoning down in the AHL, a starting role with the Black and Gold seemed poised to fall right into center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson’s lap.
A roster spot wasn’t guaranteed for the 22-year-old skater, but with the departure of Riley Nash in free agency, a vacant role at the third-line pivot was up for grabs — with the two-way BU product expected to beat out younger competition in Trent Frederic and NHL regulars in David Backes and Sean Kuraly.
Then the actual preseason happened, in which Forsbacka Karlsson failed to capitalize on his window to impress the B’s top brass with tepid play.
“JFK” is by no means a burner that’s going to compile a lengthy list of highlight-reel plays, but the B’s were clearly expecting more from a player lauded for having a refined, cerebral game — ultimately opting to send him down to Providence before the start of the regular season.
Now, following his promotion from the AHL on Friday, Forsbacka Karlsson will get another chance to prove his worth at the NHL level. Except this time, the stakes are even higher.