Though he sports a scar from the past, Mattias Tedenby is focused on the future.
After scoring a goal in the Devils 2-1 preseason win over the Rangers, the Swedish winger is hoping that he can continue to impress the coaching staff and make the team out of camp. With the recent addition of Damien Brunner into camp on a tryout, there is a logjam of players fighting for only a few spots.
In fact, the former first round draft pick has seen his time in New Jersey decrease over that time. He broke into the league with 58 games played in New Jersey during his rookie year, followed by 43 in 2011-2012 and only four last season.
Armed with a new one-year contract for 2013-2014, Tedenby is down to what might be his last chance to impress the coaches and finally solidify himself as an everyday NHL player.
"To start off with a goal and a win, it feels pretty good," said Tedenby after the preseason opener. "It's good for the confidence and good for me personally, too."
In an effort to be stronger on the puck, the 23-year-old winger, who is wearing number nine this year, has added some muscle. "Physically, in the corners and stuff it helps, but it takes a little bit of time to adjust to more weight. [You] get tired faster, but if I get a few more practices, it’ll turn out good."
There is no doubt that the Vetlanda, Sweden native has the offensive skill to put up points in the NHL. He has struggled with positioning and defensive responsibility in the Devils system, which requires forwards to backcheck consistently. He is looking to show the coaching staff that he can play a sound, two-way game.
“I thought Teddy had a very good game,” said Pete DeBoer. “With him, it’s one game at a time, like with all of the guys who are fighting for those roster spots. You play a good game and you get an opportunity to play another one.”
This is the make-or-break year for Mattias Tedenby, or else a once promising future will quickly become his past.