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‘This is the place I want to play. I want to play in the NHL’ - Jacob Olofsson

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The Canadiens second-round pick talks about his first NHL experience

Jacob Olofsson (43) battles with Cale Fleury at Canadiens development camp.
Shanna Martin

When you have the regional scout in disbelief that you are still on the board when the team picks you, that’s normally a good sign and that was the case for Montreal Canadiens second-round pick Jacob Olofsson.

With the third of their four second-round picks (before the fourth was traded), the Canadiens took the 6’3”, 190lbs centre and he was one of the more impressive players at the team’s development camp, even scoring the camp’s first goal.

“I felt like coming into the camp there were a lot of good players here but I felt confidence, I felt good in my legs so it felt good,” Olofsson said.

He was notably very good stickhandling in traffic despite bodies close to him. He says it’s a conscious skill he has.

“I like to come with speed so when you do that, you have to make quick decisions when it comes to the bodies around you.”

And that ability comes into play a lot more in North America where the small ice surface means you have less space.

“It’s not the same intensity like you see here,” Olofsson said. “It’s body to body all the time. In Sweden you have more space. Here, there’s always someone next to you so you have to be even more quick.”

He will be playing in the SHL, Sweden’s top division, this season after being a part of the Timrå team that was promoted from the second division Allsvenskan where he played centre, and will continue to do so. He had 10 goals and 11 assists in 43 games during the regular season added three goals and an assist during qualification.

But like many drafted players his goal is to eventually make the next step.

“This is the place I want to play. I want to play in the NHL,” he said.

He enjoyed his first on-ice experience with his new organization.

“[It was] amazing. Everyone is so welcoming,” he said about the facilities and the staff. “All the fans... Even on a Sunday morning they show up and there’s people watching us.”