The news that his shoulder needed surgical repair was heavy for Jacob Olofsson, but the Montreal Canadiens’ 2018 second-round draft pick is remaining positive.
When we spoke, Olofsson was optimistic in returning to team activities as early as the end of June. “The surgery will be in one to two weeks’ time,” explained the young centre, “and then it will be five to six months of rehab,” implying a worst-case scenario of a return at the end of July. Although this timeline means that Olofsson will likely miss the majority of Skellefteå’s notoriously tough May-June pre-season training program, the possibility remains that he may be able to participate in some part of it.
The injury also places his attendance in doubt for Montreal’s summer development camp. However, he may elect to do what Joni Ikonen did last summer: head to Montreal early and work with the Canadiens’ staff for a week or two off the ice. Given that the surgery itself has yet to be performed, it’s still early when it comes to determining the youngster’s summer schedule. Montreal and Skellefteå will have time to figure out everything between themselves.
It’s a tough situation, but fortunately, one of Sweden’s leading hospitals for treating sport-related injuries lies in Umeå, approximately an hour away to the south. The fact that Olofsson is secure in his role with the team and under contract for next season should ensure that he gets the best treatment and support possible from Skellefteå AIK.
With the prospect of starting next season with a clean slate before him, Olofsson is more determined than ever. Quoting three-time world champion cross-country skier Per Elofsson, Olofsson ended our conversation by saying “det är bara att bryta ihop och komma igen” (it’s just about breaking yourself down and building yourself back up again). And I will succeed.”