2012-05-25 10:00:00 | Skellefteå AIK
Petter Granberg. Photo: Bert Söderström / Pic-Agency.com
Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenceman Petter Granberg to a three-year entry level contract. 19-year-old Granberg played this past season for Skellefteå AIK, where he registered four points in 38 regular season games. The defenceman also won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
2012-05-22 09:30:00 | AIK
Anaheim Ducks have signed Viktor Fasth to a one-year contract through the 2012/13 NHL season. 29-year-old Fasth has been named the Swedish Elite League’s Goaltender of the Year (Honken Trophy) in each of the last two seasons.
Viktor Fasth. Photo: Michael Campanella / Pic-Agency
On signing a one-year deal:
- I’m really happy and looking forward to joining the organization. It’s a dream come true for me. I’m really excited, Fasth says to ducks.nhl.com.
On choosing the Ducks:
- The Ducks showed a real big interest. I had the feeling that they wanted to give me this chance and they believe in me. That is very important for me.
On this being the time to come over to the NHL:
- I’m really glad to have this opportunity to come over to the NHL. It’s always been a big dream for me. It was a tough decision for me last year, but we choose to stay home in Sweden. This year felt great and it was really hard to turn down. Turning it down was never an option.
2012-05-21 12:21:00 | AIK
AIK stood for an upset when they ousted Luleå (the best team in the regular season) in the quarter-finals. But then Skellefteå ended AIK's dream of becoming Swedish champions, after beating AIK 4-3 in the semi-finals.
AIK:s scoring leader Kent McDonell scored six goals and had six assists in the playoffs, but the 33-year-old Canadian won´t play in AIK the upcoming season. Hockeyligan.se contacted McDonell to find out more about his future.
Kent McDonell. Photo: Sami Grahn / Pic-Agency.com
First of all, how does it feel now a few weeks after the playoffs?
- I've had time to sit and reflect on this past playoffs. I believe that we competed really well and should be proud of the progress that AIK made this season, says McDonell.
Why do you think you had such a strong performance in the playoffs?
- Sometimes things just fall into place and things go your way. This playoff was one of those times. I had a lot of opportunities to shoot the puck and the fortunate thing for me was good things happened.
How was your time in AIK?
- I had a great time. Our coaches Roger (Melin), Gunnar (Persson), Stefan (Persson) really made it enjoyable going to the rink everyday. They demanded hard work and fun. They made me really start to enjoy the game the same way I did when i was younger.
How does it feel to leave AIK?
- The last 2 seasons have been fun seasons. It's always tough leaving a place you really like. The only easy part of it was knowing that quite a few other guys are leaving also and that your not the only piece of the puzzle there getting rid of. It's going to be a whole new team with a different identity.
Did you want to stay in AIK?
- Of course I wanted to stay. It was a place that I really enjoyed. I would be lying if i said I wasn't very disappointed.
Kent McDonell in action. Photo: Bert Söderström /Pic-Agency.com
After five seasons and 232 games in Elitserien you have achieved 121 points (63+58). Will we see you in Elitserien next season as well?
- I hope to be back in the Elitserien. It's a great league with no weak teams. I have never in my life been in a league that has such a great compete level from game 1 to 55. It seems like every year it comes down to the last week of the season to figure the playoff rankings.
Which is your best memory from your time in Elitserien so far?
- My best memory has to be the long overtime this playoffs.
(AIK-Skellefteå 4-5 OT, Skellefteå scored the game-winning goal after 10:49 in the sixth (!) period), says McDonell and continues:
- It was so long that my body was cramping up and i could barely bend my legs. Also the fans really left an impression on me that night as well. I don't think they stopped screaming for 5 hours.
McDonell after one of his goals. Photo: Sami Grahn /Pic-Agency.com
Which are your options for the upcoming season?
- My agent has had conversations with plenty of teams in Sweden as well Europe. As of right now I have no idea of what is going to happen. I'm at home training hard getting ready for where ever that happens to be.
Have you had any contact with clubs from Elitserien?
- Yes, my agent has a contact with teams. I would rather not say what teams but there is interest which is a good starting point.
How long are you willing to wait for a new contract?
- I'm going to sign the first contract that makes sense for my family and I. As a player you have to take many factors into play. I don't want to play for a team that doesn't want to compete and get to the next level of winning. I want to be successful as a player and team.
2012-05-11 15:48:00 | Brynäs IF
Last month Brynäs clinched the Swedish title for the first time since 1999. One of Brynäs key players throughout the whole season was the 26-year-old American Ryan Gunderson.
The defenseman from Bensalem simply had a great season. 34 points in 55 games in the regular season and three goals in the playoffs. Ryan Gunderson, you didn´t just win gold in your first season in Elitserien, your stats are really impressive as well?
- It's crazy, some guys play for 20 years without winning and I win in my first year. The whole thing was really cool and now I´m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can. It was great to be a part of Brynäs and I will never forget it, Gunderson says to Hockeyligan.se and continues:
- My plan was to continue to improve and to produce offensively. It took some time to adjust to Elitserien, but after scoring my first goal I felt I had settled in. Mentally that first goal was really important and after that it went well. But I also have to mention it helps pretty much to have teammates like those I had this season.
Brynäs - Swedish Champions 2012. Photo: Tobias Josefsson
And after winning you celebrate, tell me about your last weeks?
- For a week or two it was pretty wild (laughter), but now it´s back to reality. It took a few days to realize how big it was in Gävle (hometown of Brynäs) and then most of the guys came over to Las Vegas.
I presume as an American you were the leader in Vegas?
- No, I certainly wasn´t the leader. I would say Widing (Daniel) and Andersén (Niclas) were the two frontmen. They were the ones booking the trip as well.
Your trip to Vegas got some news attention as well, I have to ask how early it was booked?
- It was booked a while back, but we also had an insurance policy, so if we didn´t make it far in the playoffs we had the option to cancel the trip. But the plan worked out well for us and I think it also gave us a boost.
Which was better, to celebrate together with all the fans in Gävle or with just the team in Las Vegas?
- The one in Gävle. It was really cool to share it with the fans and you almost feel like a rock star.
Gunderson, Silfverberg and Järnkrok. Photo: Jan Bulér/ Pic-Agency.com
Why do you think your team won in the end?
- We were really tight as a team. Jakob Silfverberg delivered every night and obviously our two goalkeepers Niklas Svedberg and "Honken" (Johan Holmqvist) were really good as well.
Any other key player?
- Calle Järnkrok is an awesome player. I also want to mention Simon Bertilsson. He doesn´t get so much credit but he had a strong season as well.
Which team was the toughest team to beat in the playoffs?
- We had trouble with Frölunda already during the regular season and in the playoffs we really had to struggle before we got the momentum against them, so therefore I have to say Frölunda.
Ryan Gunderson in action. Photo: Jan Bulér, Pic-Agency.com
Prior to the last season your coach Tommy Jonsson and all players in Brynäs were very clear about your goal, that is to clinch the title. This surprised many people in Sweden, what´s your opinion in this matter?
- It was really good for us and I don´t see why you should set the expectations any lower than that.
What do you think about your team for the upcoming season?
- You can´t find a new guy like Jakob Silfverberg, but both our new guys Sebastian Enterfeldt and Johan Harju are really good players.
I guess I don´t need to ask about Brynäs goal for the next season?
- (laughter) I guess not. What´s the point of just hoping you make it to the playoffs.