Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.
Mikael Tellqvist news: The player now widely considered to be the Maple Leafs’ “goaltender of the future”, Mikael Tellqvist, is under contract with Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League for the upcoming season … Tommy Soderstrom, the former Djurgarden starter, has retired and Mikael (the SEL Rookie of the Year in 1999 / 2000) expects to handle the bulk of the work there this year … Tellqvist was recently named to the Swedish National Team for the Ceske Pojistovna Tournament in the Czech Republic later this month and he should get the bulk of the playing time there as well … Tellqvist’s primary competition for the #1 job with the Swedish National Team, Johan Holmqvist, is not playing in the tournament as he has already left for the New York Rangers camp … Mikael feels strongly that he’d like to get at least a year of significant National Team experience before coming over to play in North America … at this time, he plans to re-evaluate his situation at the conclusion of this season … Mikael Tellqvist is an extremely important player in Toronto’s long range plans and we will be following his progress closely on behalf of all Leaf fans here at Hockey’s Future …
The Slovakian-born defenseman played the last two seasons with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL.
This past season, he was named to the OHL All-Star Team, First Team, in a postseason vote by league coaches after going 7-21-28, a +35 with 99 penalty minutes in 58 regular season games.
He was the first runner-up in the voting for the Max Kaminsky Trophy, awarded yearly to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman.
Mezei was one of the final cuts during last year’s training camp.
Mezei is considered a very heady and mobile defenseman. At 6’4, 230 pounds, the Slovak also has the size to match his skills and smarts.
With another year of junior hockey under his belt, he’s sure to make a run at a spot on the Islanders’ blueline.
Mezei, who will turn 20 on Oct. 8, has been enjoying himself on Long Island all week working out with several of his teammates.