Just caught up with Bengt Gustafsson here at K-Plex. He is in town as a guest coach for the week and he and Bruce Boudreau will talking shop and sharing coaching strategies. The progress Bengt’s son, Anton, is of great importance to the organization. Anton Gustafsson was the Caps’ first first-round pick in June at No. 21 overall.
He was here at rookie development camp and skated for one day but a back injury from last season flared up and he had to cut it short. The back injury hindered him at the beginning of the season, but as Bengt Gustafsson just told me, that was only the beginning of his troubles.
Anton is currently out of the lineup with a broken finger. His father said he thinks his son will be back in about 10 days. He also missed five weeks earlier this season with a knee ligament injury that happened when he checked an opposing player and the guy fell back on his leg.
“It has been a tough situation this year,” Gustafsson the elder said. “First the back and he finally got rid of that he hurt his knee and he was out for more than a month with that. Now he came back again and broke his finger. It has been pretty hard.”
Bengt also said his son hasn’t been racking up a lot of points, but he has been playing pretty well this year when healthy. He said his son went almost a month of games at one point without being on the ice for a goal against for Bofors of HockeyAllsvenskan — the Swedish equivalent of the American Hockey League.
UPDATE: After much, much searching on my part for stats on Mr. Gustafsson, a little tip from Bengt has finally led me to a site with them (my ability to read Swedish got a little better when Nicklas Backstrom was playing in the SEL, but it still isn’t, well any good).
Anton Gustafsson has five goals and eight points in 16 games for Bofors. He has 16 penalty minutes and is a plus-6 on the season (the really cool thing about this site is it actually shows goals for and against in the plus-minus. Anton has been on the ice for eight even strength goals for and two against this season. It also has his faceoff percentage (40 percent), and shots on goal (18).
So there it is. We’ll have to wait and see if all these injuries will set back Gustafsson’s ETA in Washington at all.