In recent years, the number of Swedish born-and-raised players picked by NHL teams during the NHL Draft has continued to serve as proof that the nation of Sweden is currently one of the top developers of hockey talent on the planet.
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).
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.