Swede shines away from spotlight

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Per Jonsson is as close to anonymous as it gets.

He's the only kid at the Calgary Flames development camp whose mug shot isn't included in the mini media guide. A team public relations guru even had to double check the guy he was grabbing for a reporter was, in fact, the Swedish defenceman who was drafted with the Flames' last pick in the seventh round, 209th overall in 2006.

But the lack of attention suits the Swede just fine.

Told his skating seemed impressive during Group B drills early in the weeklong camp at the Don Hartman Northeast Sportsplex, Jonsson stumbled with his words when asked if he considered it a strong suit.

And it wasn't just because of his modest grasp of English.

"I don't know. I'm Swedish, I don't like to say stuff like that," Jonsson said sporting a sheepish smile.

The 6-ft., 175-pounder from Karlstad is making his first appearance in Calgary after training with dynasty Farjestad BK in the Swedish Elitserien last season.

He played just 11 games with the Wolves after two years of a similar workload with the under-18 version and his father -- a coach for Skelleftea -- admits the path Per is taking is a bit of a gamble.

"Maybe it's bad for him," said Per-Erik, who made the trip to Calgary with his son.

"But also, if he got the chance and they give him the chance, it can be real good (for his development)."

The 19-year-old wearing No. 70 in camp has noticed a big difference between the U-18 squad and the one led by former Flames great Hakan Loob, who is Farjestad's GM.

"It's more like a thinking game," Jonsson said.

"In the under-18, it's like, go, go, go. If you make a wrong pass in Farjestad, they punish you right away."

Having a coach for a father can only help him learn from any mistakes.

"It's real good. You have a good connection, so I just find out what I did well and what I need to improve," Jonsson said.

"It's a real good dialogue."

His dad says the way his son is mentally adjusting to the faster pace has been noticeable.

"The last three years have gone better and better. I think he has a good sense for the play and he's coming to be a good skater," Per-Erik said.

"The sense for play is the most improved for him."


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