What! Another Year, Not a Norwegian Drafted?
With Tore Vikingstad likely to partake in the St.Louis Blues minicamp before returning to his Swedish club, the Norwegian Hockey Community was excited when they heard much rant and rave about Trond Magnussen and his brilliant World Championships but as draft day closed in…his name was not found on any of the ratings boards even as an “overage” player. The smallish Magnussen, a player in Fårjestad of Sweden showed a dominating team oriented performance against the Canadians at the World`s and was being scouted by Nashville, Islanders and others…but was not taken or offered a contract. Per Skroder of Frolunda (Sweden) was joined by Anders Myrvold (AIK) as other possible players of interest to the NHL clubs but none was offered a deal. The next generation of Norwegian players includes Patrik Thoresen, son of long time Norwegian star Petter, Dan Tanges-Rogle(Sweden) and Anders Fredriksen lead the way. Lars Nagel who had been a bright spot in NEJHL was offered scholarships to atleast one Division One University (Yale) but there is no word on whether he will attend school there or stay home and play in Norway. The future is somewhat brighter with Espen Knutsen`s return to the NHL (Columbus) and the fairings at the 2000 World`s by Team Norway. But again time will tell. Former Canadian Junior and Montreal Pick Jarl Ygranes who played solid hockey for Frisk(Nor.Elite) has been training like a monster and is headed back to a strong Frisk side led by former NHLer Serge Boisvert.
With the summer on us several US based groups are heading to Norway for some fun exhibition matches. It has been listed that a WCHA All Star club will participate as well as another USA based All Star Team and another Collegiate All Star Club. The Team USA may be the wandering group of Division 2-3 players that normally play against teams from Belgium, Germany and Holland where the players are looking for contracts.
Opponents for the groups include Lillehammer IHK, Frisk and VIF Hockey all in August.Aker Hockey which finished at a respectable .500 last season under American coach Evan Andriopoulos has lost Czech Star Radek Vbor. The club has received interest from a pair of Swiss and Canadian players as well as a Swedish Goalie (Ex. Farjestad-Sweden). Aker will participate in their annual journey to Gjøvik Mountain Arena in August (11-13) where the new players will be analyzed. Returing from last season are top scorer and team Captain Tomas Smefjell (6-3 190)(son of former national coach George), banging two winger Eric Wolleng (6-5 215) and player-coach Andriopoulos (6-2 225) and look to be an even yet better club.