Ostlund develops with Sabers, “has every quality other than size”

Buffalo – Noah Ostlund He continues to improve as he takes the next steps toward his goal of playing in the NHL.

Ostlund (5-foot-11, 163-pound) was selected by the Buffalo Sabers with the No. 16 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft

“[He] “I just talked about other traits that I think would easily make up for the size,” said Jerry Forton, director of Cypress’s Amateur Detection. [Swedish Hockey League] This year – in very limited minutes, you get it – they played him in the center. He went to the U18s, played two games of over 25 minutes in position on the U18s for the gold and I don’t know we’ve seen a drop in his game.”

The 18-year-old describes himself as an “intelligent middle man” capable of contributing on both sides of the disc.

“I love being on the disc, creating attacking, but also wanting to be reliable on the defensive end,” he said. “So he’s a two-way central guy and he’s both playing power and hitting penalty kicks.”

Ostlund began playing hockey at the age of 5 and was drawn into the game by Mikael Samuelson, a retired NHL striker who has been friends with Ostlund’s father, Andreas, for over 25 years. He was nine years old when his dream of the National Hockey League began to take shape. He was on a trip to Detroit with his father to visit Samuelsson, who escorted them around the Joe Louis Arena, taking them out onto the ice and into the locker room. He met players from the Detroit Red Wings and had lunch with some of them.

“It was pretty cool,” Ostlund said. “To see like men [Pavel] Datsuk and [Henrik] Zitterberg. They were young men who I thought were growing up. very Wonderful.”

Samuelsson played 699 NHL games and joined the Vancouver Canucks player development team on May 30. He said he estimates he has seen Ostlund play about 10 times a year since retiring from professional hockey after the 2014-15 season.

I was impressed every time.

“You can see he’s getting better,” Samuelson said. “You can always see the difference when he plays, every time I see him.”

Ostlund has worked hard to make it happen. He was on the ice five times a week during the holiday season, and earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic he was able to skate the same way often at the only open skating rink at the time near his home in Neckvarn, Sweden, which allowed him to continue his development. .

When he’s not on the ice, he hones his skills on the shooting slope outside his house or plays one-on-one at the ice rink in Samuelsson’s backyard with William, son of Samuelsson, who is a year younger than Ostlund and plays with Sodertalje of HockeyAllsvenskan, the second highest level Professional hockey in Sweden.

Samuelson recalls a winter session among the boys: “Noah had a smile on his face 90 percent of the time he was there.” “I saw how much Noah liked the game and still [does]”So much fun to watch a guy play just for the love of the game,” Samuelsson said.

Ostlund will return to Djurgardens this season, looking to build on the 42 points (nine goals, 33 assists) he scored in 32 games for his junior side and 11 games he played at senior level.

“I think the longer the season, the better and better I think I played,” he said. “I think I’ve had great development all season, and I’ve had great help from the Djurgardens too that way. Just to keep working hard every day and success will come.”

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