Ole-Kristian Tollefsen has already impressed his new Canadian Junior team`s coaching staff as a “diamond in the rough”…and he played well in the rookie camp held by the Blue Jackets in August. He was noted as one of the top 4-5 players in camp.
Tollefsen a big banging defender out of Lillehammer has almost two seasons of Elite Series play behind him at 18 which is astonishing considering most of the elite series players are anywhere from 5 to 15 years older than him. A season in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings will see how well he adopts to the much more physical North American game. While it is not likely for Tollefsen to earn a spot this time around the experience is invaluable for the 18 year old defender.
Erstwhile former bright spot Patrick Thoresen has been invited to St.Louis Blues Camp with hopes of earning a contract. Thoresen a lethal scoring machine in the Canadian Juniors has also benefited from playing in the Norwegian Elite Series at a very young age. Thoresen will likely return to his junior club after his run with the Blues but all fingers are crossed that he goes back with a contract in his pocket.
Jeff Norton a NHL veteran of 799 games has arrived in Norway to play the season with Frisk-Asker the Norwegian Champions. Norton is looked onto as a veteran player who can keep Frisk at the top while offering an edgy style that add toughness to the lineup. Norton will also help in the development of the younger Frisk players.
In the lower divisions Aker Hockey returned from a weekend in Gjøvik(site of the 1994 qualification and preliminary round-hockey). Aker is nearing terms with a new Canadian (name witheld) who stands 6-3 215 and plays a mean hard game. Canadian Colin Wallace out of Vancouver and American Evan Andriopoulos out of Connecticut were with the club during the weekend training session. Ryley McKenzie out of Winnipeg was not with but is on the roster for the 2002-03 season. Erik Olsen (New York) has announced his retirement and will return to the US in 2003.