Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
Last summer, Jonas Brodin was one of the fast risers at the 2012 NHL Draft, ultimately being taken 10th overall by the Minnesota Wild. That draft ranking came on the strength of some regular SEL play for the Swedish champion Farjestad, as well as a top-flight performance at the 2011 U18 World Championship. This past season was yet another eventful one for the 18-year-old, most especially in light of his WJC gold medal performance.
After his first ever appearance for the Swedish men’s national team in a 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic at the 2012 World Championships, Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to chat with the Minnesota Wild prospect.
Hockey’s Future: When we talked to you last year at this time in Germany, you were starting for team Sweden’s Under-18 team. Tonight, you started for the men’s team at the World Championships in front of the home crowd in Stockholm. Could you ever have imagined this would be possible at this time last year?
Jonas Brodin: No, certainly not. I’ve played a good season, but I never thought about the possibility of playing for the national team here this year. I’m very happy to be here.
HF: This being your debut, were you actually surprised that you got the type of ice time you did.
JB: Surprised? Not really. We were rolling six defensemen, so I got a bit of a normal shift. But it definitely felt great to receive the trust and support from the coach.
HF: And how do you feel now? Were you happy with your game?
JB: I think it went well. I feel I played well and am satisfied with my game. I put an emphasis on playing a safe and stable game for this first performance of mine at a world championship tournament. I wanted to keep it simple and avoid costly mistakes.
HF: Players such as yourself, Johan Larsson, Silverberg, and Calle Jarnkrok are seen as the future of this Swedish team, but how important is it for you kids to be here with the likes of Zetterberg, Eriksson, Franzen, etc.?
JB: Yes, this is very important. They’re big, recognizable faces from the NHL and yes, they help lead the way and help us younger players. They’re good guys and lead by word, but more importantly, by example. They just have so much experience.
HF: Speaking of experience, tell me a little bit about your development for Farjestad from this past season in the SEL.
JB: I played a lot more this year than the year before. I got more and more playing time and definitely noticed that with time I was able to better acclimate to the various situations. Of course, there was a time following the WJC where I experienced a bit of a downswing in my play, but things got better after that.
HF: And what about your WJC experience?
JB: Oh, that was just incredible. Just amazing!
HF: Is that gold medal hanging in your parents’ house?
JB: No, but it is hanging on the wall in my apartment.
HF: What type of feedback did you get from the Minnesota Wild organization this winter?
JB: I talked a lot with Minnesota’s Swedish scout Ricard Persson. They told me what I was doing well and what I needed to do better. They regularly checked in to see how I was doing. So yes, they kept in good touch with me this past season.
HF: One last question for you Jonas: Do you know where you will be playing next season?
JB: No, I don’t. Not at the moment.