Wessex Garages have once again partnered with the Devils for the upcoming season
The Devils will face Färjestad Karlstad from Sweden in the Champions Hockey League.
Färjestad play in the Swedish top division, the SHL. The team has been to the Swedish national finals twenty times, winning nine titles. In the 2019/20 season Färjestad finished with a record of 25-16-5, good for second in the SHL.
Their coach Johan Pennerborn has been in the Färjestad system for seven years coaching Färjestad’s under 16 team, before joining the team as an assistant coach in 2016. He was promoted to Head coach in 2017 and has a contract that runs until the 2022/23 season.
Färjestad currently have 23 players signed for the 2020/21 season, with an average age of 24. The team is made up predominately of Swedish players, with 20 Swedish players. The team carries a total of 1,457 games of experience playing for Färjestad. The team’s top scorer last season was Markus Nilsson, who has since moved on to the KHL.
Färjestad have participated in the CHL four times, getting knocked out in the group stage once, reaching the round of 32 twice and the round of 16 once. Last year they qualified for the round of 16 after beating Red Bull Munich in their final group game, to earn qualification to the next round. Färjestad played Frolunda, a team the Devils will remember and won’t have fond memories of. Frolunda (the eventual champions) beat Färjestad 11-8 on aggregate, Färjestad beat Frolunda 6-3 in the first match of the knockout round but then lost 8-2 in the return leg. Highlights of their 6-3 win over Frolunda are below:
Stand Out Players
Jonathon Blum - the only American on the roster so far has 110 NHL appearances and 335 AHL appearances. Blum who mainly played for Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild in his time in the NHL was drafted 23rd overall by the Nashville Predators. Blum put up 33 points in 51 games in the 19/20 season for Färjestad.
Gustav Rydahl - has played for some of Sweden’s best teams. The 6’3 two-way forward put up 35 points in 49 games, scoring 19 times and assisting 16 times for Färjestad during the 19/20 season. Rydahl, aged 25, has played 318 games in the SHL. The centre has a two-year contract with Färjestad and grew up in Karlstad, where Färjestad is located.
Henrik Haukeland - a Norwegian netminder who has signed a two-year contract with Färjestad. Haukeland joined the Swedish team this summer after previously playing for KooKoo in the Liiga after an impressive 2.03 GAA and a .914 save percentage. In the CHL, Haukeland has played three games with TPS in the 2018/19 campaign.
Former EIHL Players
Devin Didiomete - the former Devil, Steeler and Storm player played for the Swedish team in 2013/14. He only played 12 games for the team, recording no points and joining the Sheffield Steelers a year later.
Andreas Jamtin - he played for Färjestad in the 2016/17 season. Another former Steeler played 46 times in the season recording 1 goal and 3 assists. The Swedish depth forward would then sign for the Steelers a year later.
Stefan Meyer - the former NHLer played for Färjestad in the 2011/12 season. The forward had 7 points in 25 games in Sweden. The Canadian would then sign for the Steelers in 2013 and would then go on to sign in Braehead where he played two seasons for the Scottish club.
The Devils vs Sweden
The two teams have never played before, Färjestad have never played a British team whilst the Devils have played Swedish teams on multiple occasions with one win, four losses and one OT loss. The win came in the Devils first year in the CHL when they beat the Vaxjo Lakers 5-1.