Then and Now: Lars Jonsson

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The first six picks in the 2000 NHL Draft were players who played several years in the league and enjoyed either popularity or notoriety.

The group of Rick DiPietro, Dany Heatley, Marian Gaborik, Rostislav Klesla, Raffi Torres, and Scott Hartnell are recognizable names across the NHL for several reasons. With the seventh overall pick in 2000, however, the Boston Bruins selected defenseman Lars Jonsson, who only played in eight NHL games. The blue liner played all his games in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers, as he never suited up for the team that drafted him.

Jonsson appeared in a string of games for the Flyers from late October to the middle of December during the tortuous 2006-2007 campaign. In the eight tilts with Philly, Jonsson helped the club go 3-4-1. With his first game being the Flyers’ 3-2 shootout victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on October 26, 2006 and his final contest being an 8-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 13, Jonsson recorded two assists and six penalty minutes. The defender also posted a minus-4 rating, as he went minus-2 in a pair of games, minus-1 in one contest, and plus-1 in his first game with the team.

The blue liner also played in 40 games for the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2006-2007. He had four goals and 11 assists to finish 18th out of the 40 players to play in at least one game for the Phantoms that year. Jonsson had as many points as Matt Davis, a utility player who experienced his only season as a professional, and Marty Murray, who also played for the Los Angeles Kings’ organization in 2006-2007.

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Jonsson remained with the Phantoms for the entirety of the 2007-2008 campaign. In 44 games for Philly, Jonsson produced five goals and 13 assists to help the Phantoms reach the postseason.

In the 2008 AHL playoffs, the Phantoms beat the Albany River Rats in a five-game Division Semifinals’ meeting before they fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in five games the next round. Jonsson had a goal and four assists in seven games, as well as six PIMs and a plus-3 rating.

After the 2007-2008 campaign, Jonsson left North America to join Brynas IF of the Elitserien. With Andreas Dackell being the team’s captain, Jonsson was named the club’s alternate captain on a roster that boasted Joacim Eriksson, Anders Lindback, Jacob Markstrom, Simon Bertilsson, Jakob Silfverberg, and Kyle Wanvig.

Jonsson produced the most goals and points for any of Brynas’ defenders during the 2008-2009 season, as he had nine goals and 21 points in 53 games.

Although Brynas qualified for the 2009 Elitserien postseason, they were swept by top-seeded Farjestads BK in the Quarterfinals. In the sweep, Jonsson went pointless with two PIMs and a minus-4 rating.

Jonsson stayed with Brynas for the 2009-2010 campaign and kept his honor of being an alternate captain, as goaltender Eddie Lack joined the squad. Unfortunately for Jonsson, he only played in eight contests for Brynas. He had one goal and three assists in his limited time, while Brynas reached the 2010 Elitserien postseason as the sixth-seed and suffered a loss to Djurgardens IF in five games during the Quarterfinals.

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The 2010-2011 season was Jonsson’s final year as an alternate captain for Brynas, as he played in 45 games for the team to help them finish seventh in the 12-team Elitserien. The group of Oscar Dansk, Thomas Greiss, and Dale Clark suited up alongside Jonsson for Brynas during this season.

With 13 goals, his highest goal total since he turned pro, and seven assists in 45 games, Jonsson helped Brynas to a Quarterfinals series against Farjestads BK. Although his team lost the meeting in five games, Jonsson had a goal and two helpers as well as four PIMs and a minus-1 rating.

Jonsson’s fourth season with Brynas was his first season he wasn’t dubbed an alternate captain, as Mads Hansen and Jorgen Sundqvist served as the club’s titled leaders. Johan Holmqvist joined Brynas for the 2011-2012 campaign as well.

Although he had six helpers in 42 games, Jonsson failed to pot a single goal for the duration of the regular season.

Despite the fact he was stripped of his alternate captain role and failed to find the net once all year, Jonsson helped Brynas win the 2012 Elitserien Finals. As a four-seed, Brynas beat Frolunda HC in six games, Farjestad BK in five contests, and Skelleftea AIK in six games during the Finals. Jonsson participated in all 16 playoff games for Brynas, as he finished with an assist and 18 PIMs.

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This year is Jonsson’s first season where he split time between two squads since the 2006-2007 campaign. After he went pointless in six games for Brynas the blue liner was loaned to Almtuna IS in the Allsvenskan. He had one goal in three games with Almtuna, as the defender is currently out indefinitely due to rheumatoid arthritis.