Most clubs have been on the ice now for atleast 3 weeks and have played a couple scrimmages against other Norwegian or Swedish clubs. For the youngest players this means an opportunity to show off their talent and hopefully earn a spot on a regular line and several foreign born players in the area looking for a team. Better yet the Norwegian North American and mainland Europe contingents looking to ready themselves for their upcoming seasons.
Espen Knutsen has been skating with VIF Hockey in Oslo his old club preparing for the upcoming NHL Blue Jackets camp. Knutsen looks to have even a greater impact season this year with Blue Jackets. Knutsen became the 1st Norwegian in the NHL All Star Game and responded with a goal. In this years camp Knutsen will be joined by fellow Norwgian Ole Tollefsen a hulking 18 year old defender from Lillehammer. While it is unlikely that Tollefsen will unseed a veteran of the likes of Scott LaChance or Luke Richardson this camp will help the 3rd 2002 pick of the Blue Jackets adjust to the more physical North American game and his upcoming Canadian Juniors season.
Anders Myrvold now of Adler in the German league has also been skating and is looking to get into shape for his season. Myrvold spurned the Blues and Panthers by signing a deal with the German side. Myrvold hopes to work his way back into a legitimate shot at the regular team in the NHL.
Marius Holtet was skating earlier with the Dallas Stars rookie team. Holtet will play in Sweden this season to work on his skills. The gifted winger is several years away from a legitimate shot at the NHL but all eyes are on his upcoming season. Holtet was selected in the 2nd round of the 2002 NHL entry draft by Dallas.
Patrick Thoresen looks to hook up with a NHL club after a disappointing draft day where he was ignored. Thoresen a sniper has all the tools to put the puck in the net but 2002-03 in Canada will be his real test. Make or break.
North Americans are making a push in Norway. Don Nichols of Canada ex.Tilbourg(Holland)has signed with Stjernen of Fredrikstad. The tough 190 pound defender will add a hint of spice to the less than tough Fredrikstad club. His edgy play is exactly what his club is looking for. Jeff Norton a NHL veteran of 799 games with Tampa, Edmonton, SJ, NYI etc… has signed a deal to play with Frisk-Asker the defending champs in Norway. Norton`s NHL style will help replace the loss of fellow American Kyle McDonough who returned to the US after a long career in Norway. Norton`s status was unsure until the last possible minute when the club scoured the countryside to raise funds for the player and his family. Wayde Bucsis returns to Trondheim but without Dan O`connell who signed to play in Germany or Brett Stewart. Stewart and Bucsis were a lethal combo last season. Stewart`s knees are keeping him off the ice for the time being. Daniel Òlers is back for another season at MS(OSLO) and is joined by Lloyd Marks(Canada). Glen Detulleo(USA) of Lillehammer has not confirmed a return and other North American players are looking to hook up to a club.
Several Norwegian players are bound for Germany including Tommy Jakobsen, Tore Vikingstad(STL),and Trond Magnussen along with Swedish club bound Mats and Marius Trygg, Marius Holtet and more.
For those of you interested in playing in Norway, for those that I received your resumès thanks! I have forwarded them to various clubs. Keep the faith!
Coming soon a preview of the up and coming season and what players are the new HOT prospects of Norwegian Hockey.