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Maple Leafs call up Andreas Johnsson and Calle Rosen

The Leafs weren’t Swedish enough, and they’ve found a way to fix that.

Christian Bonin

The Toronto Lönnlöven, er, sorry, Maple Leafs, today have called up Andreas Johnsson and Calle Rosen. Rosen is being recalled on an emergency basis, meaning he does not count as one of the four regular call-ups allowed under the CBA post-trade-deadline.

The Leafs used two call-ups already on Kasperi Kapanen and Travis Dermott, as they were both sent down and recalled on deadline day. Johnsson makes three used, which leaves only one more, should the Leafs wish to add a player.

By calling up Johnsson, who is lighting the AHL on fire (his official stat line is just some fire emojis), the Leafs have turned their unique circumstances in the standings into an opportunity to look at their most exciting prospect still in the AHL.

They can’t fall out of third place, and they won’t catch the Bruins for second place, so it is a golden opportunity to rest some older players and try out the man everyone seems convinced is a lock to be an NHLer with no learning curve. Why, he could have just stepped into James van Riemsdyk’s spot on the roster. He plays a good net-front game, he is a good right-side winger on the power play, just move him in there and all will be rosy. He’ll score heaps of goals, no question about it.

Slam the breaks, everyone. For his sake, if not your own.

Everyone needs a bit of breathing room to go from the AHL to the NHL. Everyone needs to be given a chance to figure out where they fit. Ask Calle Rosen how tough it is. He has a lot of skill, and he’s shown that in the NHL and the AHL, but he hasn’t put the package together to make him a lock for a roster spot on the Leafs or any other team in the NHL.

Presumably, Rosen’s being called up because Nikita Zaitsev is sick. (Reports say Travis Dermott is also not at practice.) The last defensive emergency recall was Rinat Valiev, and he never saw game action, so there is no guarantee Rosen will. The choice of Rosen over the experienced Borgman is very interesting, however, and might be to allow Borgman to graduate from Marlies PK school. Rosen can play 56 more NHL games (playoffs included) before he loses waiver exemption, but Borgman only has 22 left.

The timing is also interesting because the coaches of the Swedish national team are touring North American rinks right now, with Toronto a planned stop soon, to try to get players to commit to the world championships this May.

Word on the street is Johnsson is wearing 18 at practice, read into that what you will, and grattis, Andreas och Calle!

To clarify his PP style, a little, he plays right side of the net (he shoots left) and is a tip-in or set up the guy in the slot player. He will not really be the in the goalie’s face kind of guy, but he sure is a lot tougher in close than you expect when you see him in street clothes.

Update: as of Wednesday morning Kristen Shilton is reporting that Calle Rosen has been sent back to the AHL and Travis Dermott is expected to be in the lineup.