Photo: The Carolina Hurricanes’ top pick at the 2013 NHL Draft, Elias Lindholm, was the first player from Sweden off the board (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
On June 30th, Sweden saw 25 of its citizens, two of which spent this past season in North America, and a total of 26 players from its own leagues picked by NHL teams at the 2013 NHL Draft.
Photo: Kootenay Ice forward Sam Reinhart is the third of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart’s three sons who will be looking to follow in the father’s footsteps to the NHL (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
With the 2013 NHL Draft now passed, the focus can now turn to the class of 2014. Since Beyond Tomorrow looks at those players eligible for the next draft class, this is the last opportunity to discuss the 2014 draft-eligible players before shifting attention to the 2015's. With that in mind, here is a recap of the best of the late-1995 and 1996-born players.
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: Denver University forward Quentin Shore, shown here competing at the 2012 All-American Prospects Game, hopes to join brothers Drew and Nick as an NHL prospect (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Colorado College’s Gustav Olofsson watched on from his Broomfield, CO, home as Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks began taking their rounds hoisting the Stanley Cup following the Blackhawks wild, come-from-behind 3-2 Game 6 victory.
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).