Calle Jarnkrok's initial experience of North American hockey was an eye-opener, as the Detroit Red Wings' top prospect realized the need to get bigger and stronger when he returns next fall.

“I think I have to work on everything, but I think I need to work on my strength to be bigger and put some muscle on,'' Jarnkrok said. “I think that’s the biggest thing for me right now and this summer.”

The 6-foot, 176-pound highly skilled center had no goals and three assists in nine games for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins before returning to Sweden to prepare for the World Championships.

As with all Europeans, his biggest adjustment was the smaller ice surface and more physical style.

“It was a little bit harder than I thought it would be,'' Jarnkrok, 21, said. “It was getting better and better for each game, so I feel good about it.

“I expected smaller ice and bigger players, so I expected it to be pretty tough for me. It was, but I think I figured it out and it’s getting better and better for each game.”

Jarnkrok, Detroit's second pick (51st overall in the second round) in the 2010 entry draft, will compete for a roster spot at Red Wings training camp in September. If he doesn't earn one, the club said he will start the season with the Griffins.

Former Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, doing some scouting and player evaluation for the club in Sweden, sized up Jarnkrok.