MoDos great youth (5/1/98)
The history of MoDos fine youth program started in 1988. Yes MoDo has had youth stars even before this year. Thomas Gradin, Bo Berglund and Anders Hedberg all played in MoDo at an early age, but it was in 1988 that things really started to happen.
Angermanland has their best roster ever in the TV Puck, and the final against Stockholm was no problem at all. Markus Näslund who played for Ovik at that time, scored a hat trick and was choosen as best forward. The main thing that made it possible to start this youth program was the building of the new arena, the MoDo Hall. This made it possible to train and play more. The Hockey gymnasium woke up again after a few years without any big stars emerging. In the autumn of 89 all the players born in 1973 started playing at the hockey gymnasium. Those players included Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Hans Jonsson,Magnus Wernblom,Fredrik Bergqvist, Henrik Gradin and Andreas Salomonsson, all of whom played in the swedish league for MoDo.
Then MoDo started to play juniors over in Sweden, where they won gold. The following couple of years MoDo won a medal every time, with gold coming a majority of those years. In the autumn of 91 the players born in 1975 started, which many think were as strong as the 73ers. Some of the more recognized names were Niklas Sundstrom, Anders Eriksson, Per Svartvadet, Anders Soderberg and Michael Tjalldén. A few years later the players born in 77,78 and 79 joined the school. During those years there were several swedish national players to play there, such as Per Anton Lundstrom and Samuel Pahlsson. Angermanland won the TV Puck both in 93 & 94 and most of those players that played on that team, are now playing on the SEL team, such as Mattias Karlin, Per Hallberg and Pierre Hedin or they are big stars in the juniors like Par Styf, Niklas Nordgren and Andreas Bystrom.
In the Autumn of 1996 came the most talented players ever to come to MoDo. It was the twins Henrik & Daniel Sedin, who a few years earlier had made there names famous among the big hockey crowd in Sweden.
What has MoDo done to be considered the best place to produce pure talent in Europe?
The prime reason is of course the hockey gymnasium in town. You must realize though that there also these kinds of schools in Skelleftea, Vasteras and Gothenburg. The only names those cities have produced is Mats Lindgren, Nicklas Lidstrom and Tommy Salo. You also have to think that most of the players that join the hockey gymansium are from the Angermanland team who played in the TV puck the year before.
Is there any other reason that MoDo has produced player after player that has successfully made the transition to North America? Yes there is. MoDo spends almost as much money on their junior program as on their SEL team. The budget for the juniors is around 2 million swedish crowns per year. The trainers are Ulf Thors and Ulf Odmark, two former MoDo players. The former swedish national d-man Sture Andersson is also the head chief of the youth teams.
But is this the whole truth?
Is it like a reporter said a few years ago? “Its not strange that Ornskoldsvik produce talent after talent, when there’s nothing else to do but play hockey” Can this be the truth or?
During the last 6 years MoDo has had 15 players drafted in the NHL draft and 45 players have played in different Swedish Junior National Teams, and there are sure to be many more in the future. In last years EJC, MoDo had 9 players on the swedish roster, a record that never will be broken.
A beatiful summerday in 1999 a couple of twins will be taken very high in the draft. I just wonder, who are they?