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Three Reasons Why the Maple Leafs Love Calle Jarnkrok

One of the quiet, but key, pieces of the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup is Calle Jarnkrok. What does he bring to the team?

Every team in the NHL does better if it has its own Swiss Army Knife — a player who can effectively play anywhere the team needs him to play. The Toronto Maple Leafs have one of those players in Calle Jarnkrok.

There are several reasons why fans should love having Jarnkrok on their team’s roster. I know the coaching staff does. Here are three key reasons why.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Jarnkrok & Kampf Are Underappreciated

Reason One: Jarnkrok Provides Versatility for Head Coach Sheldon Keefe

Head coach Sheldon Keefe values versatility, and Calle Jarnkrok brings that quality in abundance. Keefe loves to tinker, and he often uses 11 forwards instead of the traditional 12. That allows him to allocate more ice time to his top players.

Jarnkrok’s ability to seamlessly transition between positions and adapt to various roles makes him an invaluable asset. Whether it’s a checking role with a defensive focus or filling in for an injury among the top six, Jarnkrok is the go-to player. He’s equally good at playing on the wing or at center. He excels in penalty-killing situations, and he can seamlessly move up and down the lineup.

Jarnkrok’s flexibility and reliability provide Keefe with the lineup balance he seeks, making him an integral part of the team’s strategy.

Reason Two: Jarnkrok Produces and Has On-Ice Chemistry

Jarnkrok’s impact extends beyond his versatility. His chemistry with linemates, including star players like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, has not gone unnoticed. He’s shown excellent compatibility with top-line talent and has even earned praise from Matthews himself – who loves to play with him on the top line.

Jarnkrok’s quick release from the top of the right playoff circle and his all-around offensive prowess were evident during his first season with the team. He scored a career-high 20 goals. This production adds a significant dimension to the team’s offense.

Calle Jarnkrok Toronto Maple Leafs
Calle Jarnkrok Toronto Maple Leafs

Jarnkrok also has the potential to play on the third line with players like David Kampf and Max Domi. That gives him another chance to contribute substantially to the team’s scoring. Some predictions suggest he could surpass his career-high and reach 40 points in the upcoming season; however, that depends upon who he plays with.

Related: Three Things Maple Leafs’ GM Treliving Did Right this Offseason

Reason Three: Jarnkrok Is Signed to a Reasonable Contract

From a management perspective, Jarnkrok’s contract is a huge value to the team. His average annual value of just $2.1 million provides a great bang for the buck. In a league where middle-six forwards typically command salaries ranging from $2 million to $5.5 million, Jarnkrok’s contract is cost-effective and cap-friendly.

The Maple Leafs have in Jarnkrok a skilled player at a reasonable cost, which allows them flexibility within their salary structure. Furthermore, Jarnkrok’s contract extends until the 2025-26 season, offering long-term stability.

The Bottom Line

Jarnkrok provides versatility, on-ice chemistry, and production. He’s also signed to a team-friendly contract. These three things make him an asset for the Maple Leafs.

While former Maple Leafs general manager (GM) Kyle Dubas brought Jarnkrok to the team, you have to know that new GM Brad Treliving also finds Jarnkrok’s presence on the roster valuable. The Swedish forward provides for the team both in his on-ice contributions and salary-sap flexibility. That makes him a great puzzle piece that can be fitted in almost anywhere with reasonable success.

Jarnkrok is a keeper. And, he’s with the team for three more seasons. That will help make him a key piece of the team’s puzzle for the longer-term future.

Related: What If You Were The Maple Leafs GM or Head Coach?

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