The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Tuesday that the hockey club has signed free agent defencemen Calle Rosén and Andreas Borgman to two-year entry level contracts.
Rosén, 23, skated in 41 regular season games with Växjö of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) this past season, collecting 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) and 10 penalty minutes. He also appeared in six playoff games with Växjö. In 96 career SHL games, Rosén registered 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) and 16 penalty minutes. The 6-0, 185-pound Växjö, Sweden native ranked second among all U24 SHL defencemen in points-per-game in 2016-17 (0.46).
Borgman, 21, skated in 45 regular season games with HV71 of the SHL this past season, collecting 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) and 26 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 14 playoff games collecting 10 points (two goals, eight assists), which was tied for the lead amongst all defencemen. In addition to winning the SHL Championship in 2016-17, Borgman was named the league’s Rookie of the Year. The 6-0, 210-pound Stockholm, Sweden native ranked seventh among all U24 defencemen in points-per-game (0.33).
Ville Leino joined Leafs Lunch on Wednesday afternoon to discuss former teammate and now-Maple Leaf Calle Rosen.
Leino on Rosen’s game:
Calle is probably the best skater I’ve played with, even among the guys in the NHL. He’s an unbelievable skater. He can pass the puck real well. He can shoot hard. He definitely has everything that you need to become an NHL player.
On areas for improvement:
I think he needs to be a little meaner, but he’ll learn it quick. He’s a nice guy. He wants to move forward in his career. I think he just needs to be a little meaner.
His skating and movement on the ice remind me of Nik Lidstrom. Obviously, Lidstrom was pretty much the best defenceman to ever play, so I don’t think it’s a fair comparison, but he’s got some skills where I feel like he has similar abilities.
On whether Rosen is NHL-ready:
I think he’s so fast that, even if somebody beats him, he can still catch you. He’s smart and he’s strong. He might need a little period of adjustment, but I think he’ll learn pretty quickly.
On the amount of NHL interest in SHL players:
It’s pretty close to being the best league in Europe. They play similar hockey to the NHL. There is no trap hockey standing in the neutral zone. It’s hard forecheck, hard backcheck. It’s like playing in the NHL in a big rink. It’s definitely a hard league to play in. You’ve got to be really good at moving, and you’ve got to be able to hit and move. Otherwise, you look stupid there.
Uffe Bodin on Borgman:
Borgman is a solid and pretty physical two-way defenseman who had a major breakthrough this season after shifting from Hockeyallsvenskan to the SHL. He was rookie of the year and won the championship with HV71. Also played a lot with the national team.
Rosen is a really good skater and a really powerful player with a tremendous shot and one-timer, but there is a lot of inconsistency in his game. He’s got great tools, but it’s a really up and down game. I think those who follow him in the Swedish league say that he’s had some concussion issues in the Swedish league.
[Borgman] has pretty good credentials this year. He was the rookie of the year in the Swedish league. The book I got on him from talking to some other NHL teams who were interested in him is that the agent was maybe selling him as a guy who is going to be a top-four guy or is ready to be a top-four guy in the National Hockey League. Some of the other teams thought that he was maybe more a third-pairing guy.