Brosard | For Mattias Norlinder, there are two options this season. He wears the colors of the Frulanda Indians in his homeland, Sweden, or the Montreal Canadians who drafted him in the third round (64th overall) in 2019.
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The answer is very simple. Given the choice, Norlinder will make his NHL debut in Montreal rather than return for a second season in Florunda.
When he came out of his first training session at Rookie Camp, the 21-year-old defenseman clearly realized his goal.
“It’s a long road for everyone,” Norlinder recalled. I can go back to Sweden if the Canadian wants. But I’m here to win a job. “
As a contract, Narlinder has another season with the Indians. However, he could violate this agreement if he could get a place on the CH Blue Line.
Two years after his draft year, the 5’10 ”, 179lb defenseman set foot in Montreal for the first time. Prior to this year, he had no chance of attending a real camp with a development camp, rookie camp or hubs.
“It’s great, I’ve been here for two days,” he replied. I want to grasp as much information as possible and use this opportunity. I had fun with the other players, I was happy. “
Narlinder falls into the company’s brightest hopeful category. Of the 26 players at the rookie camp, Sweden’s first round pick of the company in 2020 (ranked 16th overall) focused on another defender, Kaiden Guhle.
Guhley has a reputation as a warrior and mobile defender, but he has a very strong style of play that allows him to play against the best lines of opposing teams. In the case of Norlinder, he is coming to North America with another calling card. He made a name for himself in Sweden for his offensive skills, his emotions and his speed.
On the left in Montreal, there are a few defenders in this mold. Ben Chiarrot and Joel Edmundson do defensive missions. Alexander Romanov has good offensive skills with the Russian team at the World Junior Championships, but he is still looking to improve his game to the NHL level. Brett Kulak, another left-hander, wore it entirely among left-handers.
Jeff Petrie, David Saward and Chris Weidmann (battling for 7th position) are the three right-handed players.
During his early days at Rookie Camp, Norlinder had to get used to a little ice cream compared to Sweden.
“This is not my first time at small ice cream,” he said. I thought it would take a while to adjust, but I will give myself time. I can’t judge after training. “
“In Sweden, it’s a more defensive league despite the big snow,” he continued. Here you need to think about defensive play first, but you can also focus on attacking. I want to work on my crime. ”
During the first practice at Brosard, Rob Ramez, Director of Player Development, identified one of the main opportunities to see Norlinder.
“Matthias Norlinder is a pro. He already has good experience in Sweden. You never know what will happen between now and October. He’s made good progress over the last few seasons. After our first meal, I did not recognize him. He changed physically. To use expression, he’s suspicious! ”
Laval Rocket head coach Jean-Franకోois Howell also answered a number of questions about Norlinder after this first practice.
“We have to give him good work habits,” Howell said. He has a good skate and a good hockey head. He can adapt quickly. Can’t wait to see for Rookie Camp and the real camp. Stability is the key. CH looks at it closely with Matthias. ”
“Players need to find their place,” he continued. Whether you are European or you are a 1st round or 7th round pick, it does not change anything. Determining his value depends on him. We are here to guide him in the right path. “