Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward and 2014 prospect Jorgen Karterud will be one of the go-to players for Norway at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
After a two year absence, Norway will once again be represented in the world’s best U20 tournament, the World Junior Championship, beginning this week in Malmo, Sweden. The team’s last appearance was in Buffalo, NY in 2011, where there was no avoiding elimination, despite a face-saving 3-1 victory over Germany to end the tournament. So much time has passed that not one player from that team will be in Southern Sweden for this tournament.
Photo: Djurgarden forward Alexander Wennberg has seen his 2013 NHL Draft stock rise steadily this season, to the point where he has an outside chance of being chosen among the top 10 picks (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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.
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.