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Jakob Silfverberg

Here's something you don't see everyday: An elite prospect finishing his season overseas and then jumping right into the NHL playoffs, in a pivotal game.

That appears it'll be the case for Jakob Silfverberg with the Ottawa Senators on Monday night, as he had told Swedish media he will step into Game 6 on a line with Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza.

Quite a lot to ask from a 21-year-old who was a second-round pick three years ago, but that's what coach Paul MacLean appears to have decided.

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It's a little odd to change things up in such a big game when you're leading the top team in the East in the playoffs, but my guess is he doesn't see a ton of ice time.

MacLean spent the last game rotating wingers alongside Michalek and Spezza, using Zenon Konopka, Erik Condra and Mark Stone at various points on that line so the new guy may simply just start filling in there on offensive zone faceoffs.

While he's a late-bloomer, Silfverberg does come with some nice recent history, as he was second in Elitserien scoring this year and "is fresh from helping Brynas capture the Swedish Elite League championship" last Thursday.

He set a Swedish league record with 13 playoff goals, too, earning playoff MVP honours to go with his regular season MVP award.

"He's been the best player in the Swedish Elite League in the regular season and the playoffs I believe," MacLean said ( video). "His team, Brynas, just won the Swedish Elite League championship and he was the best player. I like that."

"It's the best league in the world," Silfverberg told The Canadian Press ( video). "It's a dream come true to just be here and I'm very excited."

Here was how Hockey's Future described him prior to his breakout season this year:

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"Silfverberg is a strong skating two-way forward with good hockey sense. He is a very smart and mature player and is solid both offensively and defensively. Silfverberg has good technical skills and plays with plenty of intensity.

"His shot is quick but could be more accurate and he could stand to play more physical. Opinions about Silfverberg's career differ. Some see a potential star player in him, while other see his potential limited to that of a role player."

And these people like the guy:

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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