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: Czech forward Jakub Vrana currently plays hockey in Sweden, but could receive attention at the 2013 CHL Import Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Adler, a small, rather nameless coastal resort just south of Sochi that is receiving worldwide attention as one of the hosting places of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, recently was packed with hockey scouts, journalists and the top players born in 1995 or later for the IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Photo: Swedish forward Elias Lindholm, shown here during the testing portion of the 2013 NHL Combine, is one of several forwards that are expected to be chosen in the top 10 of the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Keith Hamilton/Icon SMI)
Although the crop of Swedish prospects is not as deep as in recent years, there is still some good talent from that country at the top of the 2013 NHL Draft class. The best of this year's lot is forward Elias Lindholm of the Brynas organization.
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: Sweden’s Andre Burakowsky is the son Robert Burakowsky, a long-time European pro player who spent part of one NHL season with the Ottawa Senators (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Sweden was sailing through the preliminary round of the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship until they ran into a brick wall in the form of Team Canada in the final game of the opening round. Canada blanked the Swedes, 6-0, marring what had otherwise been a good showing for Sweden at this U18.