The Olympic Games have begun. Team Sweden’s NHL stars are competing for their teams
in USA and Canada while 21-year old Henrik Zetterberg is still in Sweden. He is not a Mats Sundin
or a Peter Forsberg, not yet that is…
In order to remain in shape during the SEL-break Zetterberg is currently training with 2nd-tier league
team Sundsvall. In less than a week the Detroit draftee will enter the E Center in Salt Lake City and play his very
first Olympic Game. The opponents in Sweden’s opening game are perhaps the toughest possible, Canada.
The quite unexperienced Zetterberg will play against stars like Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic, Chris Pronger etc…
It’s not like he hasn’t played good players before, but we’re talking about franchise players now.
So can this youngster really contribute with something? After all he is playing on a Swedish team full with
experienced stars, with plenty of seasons in the NHL. Zetterberg is currently playing his 2nd season in the Swedish Elitserien, and most
likely his last in 10 years or so.
Well, the answer is YES, he can contribute. For those who yet haven’t had the opportunity to see Zetterberg
in action, it’s a understatement to call him a great player. He is one of those players that can do the thing
you least expect. He reads the game so well, and sees openings that many other players aren’t capable of seeing.
Zetterberg is also young, he is “hungry”, he doesn’t have the same pressure on his shoulders, like the NHL-stars
have. He has not been chosen for his fine season in the SEL, he has been chosen because he can win a game single handed.
Many experts are wildly speculating about Zetterberg’s chances of seeing ice-time in the OG. Their point is that there’s no
way this young prospect could keep up with the intensive games ahead of him. The Swedish staff (GM Anders Hedberg, coach Hardy Nilsson)
received recently the question on what we could expect of Zetterberg in the Olympics. Their answer was basically that they’re looking forward
to see Zetterberg play regular on the team, and not be a healthy scratch or a 4th-liner with very limited ice-time.
This sounds good. Other more optimistic experts are already saying that the Olympic Games will be Henrik’s major International
Well, that might just be too much to ask for.
However, one thing is for sure, we’re all in for a fantastic tournament, no matter if there will be a “Zetterberg Zuccezz” or not…