Photo: Defenseman Mattias Norstebo of Brynas IF is ranked 86th among European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Brynas IF)
When a kid grows up playing ice hockey in either Norway or Denmark and shows above-average abilities or an innate understanding of the game, he’ll often find his way to one of the many excellent junior programs that dot the Swedish ice hockey landscape. This is exactly what has taken place for the currently 5’10”, 170-pound Norwegian defenseman Mattias Norstebo (written Nørstebø in Norwegian and Nörstebö in Swedish).
Photo: Norwegian forward Markus Soberg has spent the past two seasons playing in Sweden for Frolunda (courtesy of hockeypuck.blogg.no)
At the 2011 IIHF U18 tournament in Dresden and Crimmitschau, Germany, more than a few people in the hockey community found themselves raising their eyebrows with respect to a pair of brothers suiting up for Team Norway.
Photo: Colorado College forward and Dallas Stars prospect Scott Winkler's development was somewhat stunted in his first three NCAA seasons due to injuries, but he is off to a strong start in 2012-13 (courtesy of Casey B. Gibson)
Amidst a seesaw battle with Yale last weekend, Colorado College’s Scott Winkler sent Bulldog winger Anthony Day crumbling to the ice with a solid body check into the left corner boards at the World Arena. Instantaneously, Winkler set his sights on another Yale forward behind the Tigers net as he fiercely fought for possession of the puck in the defensive zone.
At the raw age of 21, Andreas Martinsen has already suited up for Team Norway 60 times in international play. This past season he was a key player for his hometown team in Lillehammer, where he collected 20 goals and 48 points in 56 games. The 6-3, 220-pound forward isn’t afraid to throw his weight around either, as his 147 penalty minutes attests.
Photo: Norway's Patrick Thoresen, shown here competing at the 2010 Olympics, has been his country's top offensive performer at the 2012 World Championship (courtesy of
Toronto Star/Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
It wasn’t too long ago that forward Patrick Thoresen looked to have been establishing a regular role on a lower line with the Philadelphia Flyers after several seasons in the Edmonton Oiler organization. However, the 5-11, 188-pound forward decided to head to Switzerland for the 2008-09 season where he put up 63 points in 48 games. This then led to two seasons in the KHL with Salavat Yulayev followed by a year with St. Petersburg. In the KHL, he’s managed to score 196 points in 191 games.