Jacob Olofsson, Skellefteå AIK, SHL, Sweden
Without playing one game this week, Jacob Olofsson still managed to get into the spotlight, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Having upped his game over the last 11 games of the SHL season with his nine points (2G, 7A), he was preparing himself for the World Junior Championship by practising with Skellefteå AIK when he suffered an “upper-body injury” to cancel his WJC plans. It’s a tough break for a player who has just resurfaced on the radar for the average Montreal Canadiens fan, but especially for himself and Team Sweden as he was supposed to be one of the leaders for Sweden in the upcoming tournament.
When I reached out to Olofsson, the words he used to describe the situation were “miserable and irritating.” It is tough for the player in this kind of situation, but especially so for a player that has just broken out offensively.
Frederik Dichow, Malmö U20, SuperElite / Malmö Redhawks SHL, Sweden
It was a tough week for the Danish U20 Team. Going in looking forward to challenging for a promotion to the IIHF’s Top Division, it instead came down to avoiding relegation from Division 1A.
“The Gnome” shut the door against Slovenia, a game that Denmark should have won in regulation but did manage to win in overtime. The result allowed Denmark to hold on to their spot in the group, and dropped Slovenia down a level.
In the second game of the week, Dichow took over against Belarus after Mads Søgaard had let three pucks by him. Dichow allowed three goals in relief as well, but the game was already lost.
Mattias Norlinder, Modo, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden
Norlinder added to his point total with a secondary assist from within his own zone that started a counter-attack. More importantly he has played a lot, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Coach Montén of the Swedish WJC team will let Norlinder play big minutes during the tournament in order to use the great skating and puck-handling of the Montreal prospect to set up some Swedish offence.
Jesse Ylönen, Lahti Pelicans, Liiga, Finland
It’s not easy to be Jesse Ylönen. The Pelicans lost one game but managed to beat Ässät, Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s old team. But even though Ylönen played heavy minutes, his stats are negative. He wasn’t on the ice for either of the two goals scored, but was on the ice for two goals in the back.
Despite the Pelicans doing poorly in the standings and offensively, Ylönen is on pace to be at a similar number of points as he was last year. With the team scoring about 30% fewer goals, Ylönen has actually shown a positive development.
The big question is if Ylönen will go on loan to a top team later in the season, and get a chance to play some playoff hockey.
Arsen Khisamutdinov, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (KHL) / CSK VVS Samara (VHL), Russia
With the national team break in the KHL (and most of Europe), Khisamutdinov had no games this week.
Alexander Romanov, CSKA, KHL, Russia
Romanov didn’t play any games due to the international break in most leagues of Europe this week.