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Arvid Henrikson and Lukas Vejdemo look forward to Canadiens Development Camp

Two of the European prospects are flying across the Atlantic to learn with their organizational peers.

Patrik Bexell/EOTP

Arvid Henriksson and Lukas Vejdemo were kind enough to talk to Eyes on the Prize before they left Sweden for Canadiens Development Camp in Montreal.

While they are going as veterans, especially Vejdemo, they are still excited. "I know more what to expect," says Henrikson. "I wont be as nervous as I was last year. My plan is to go there and show everyone I have improved."

Vejdemo considers this his chance to shine. "I need to show how much I improved last season in the SHL, even if the team didn’t have as good of a year [Djurgården made the playoffs as the last team]. I have been here twice before and it is time for me to shine."

They have practised together with other NHLers such as Marcus Krüger and Jacob Josefson along with Oliver Kylington and a few others inthe last week, getting in shape and keeping things in order for development camp.

"It will take a short amount of time, a couple of practices, but then I should be ready to go for real."

The practice camp with the NHLers has mainly been to work on their skating techniques, rather than specific drills, to get their bodies in order for what is about to start in the upcoming week.

"I am so looking forward to the games; to play ice hockey again," says Vejdemo with a smile. "Practice is all good, but it is in the heat of the game that you can show what you have developed last season; to show your own progress."

With a move to a new city and a new team, Henrikson thinks this camp will help him take the next step, and become a regular SHL defender.

"Part of the move to Örebro was that they only have six defenders at the moment and I am one of them. I should be able to fight for sixth or seventh position at least. But I also have my old coach from AIK-U18 as a U20 coach in Örebro, and it was under him I had my best season so far."

It is an upbeat Henrikson who speaks about his move to the new club, and he isn’t shying away from mentioning another goal for the upcoming season.

"I want to be part of the Swedish WJC team. It’s my last opportunity to be part of it. It might not happen, but I will give it my absolute best to make that team."

Neither remembers having played against newly drafted Joni Ikonen, but Vejdemo points out that he “played a bit with his brother Juuso in Djurgården last year. I think they are pretty similar players: small, fast, technically gifted, and with a wicked shot."