With Sweden’s last tournament before the World Junior Championships coming up, all eyes were on the Swedish coach Tomas Montén as he revealed the team for the Four Nations tournament that is held in Helsinki, Finland this year.
After a strong start to the season, Montreal Canadiens prospect Mattias Norlinder made the team along with Jacob Olofsson, who has become a go to guy for his coach due to his versatility.
The Dispatch was fortunate to get time with Montén who gives his opinion on the two Montreal prospects, and his own feelings of ‘revenge’ after last year’s disappointing tournament where Sweden lost to Switzerland in the quarterfinal. The coach talks about that loss and going forward.
Montén speaks about Jacob Olofsson’s skill set and the fact that he is a smart player and why he could be a centre match for Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz on one of the two top lines for Sweden in the World Junior Championship.
“He’s a really smart hockey player,” he said. “He can play anywhere on the ice.” Olofsson played defence in last year’s tournament while the team was short players dealing with the stomach flu. As for whether he’ll be in goal this year, the coach laughs when he says “hopefully not.”
It will be Mattias Norlinder’s first time to suit up with the three crowns on the chest and Montén is excited to see what the skilled and offensively gifted defender can bring into a national team. He addressed the Swedish defensive corps that can get extra additions with Rasmus Sandin and Tobias Björnfot, making it very tough for a left handed defender to make the team.
After the recording had finished Montén offers an honest opinion about another Montreal Canadiens prospect, Alexander Romanov. “He is the type of player you feel is out there for 25-30 minutes when you are coaching the other team, he is so good.”
There can’t be any better praise coming from an opposing coach.
The Four Nations tournament gets underway November 8.