Olsson to be ‘a pain’ for opposition

NORTH BAY, Ont. – The North Bay Battalion’s newest recruit will find a longtime friend in the Ontario Hockey League clubs dressing room.

The Battalion selected right winger Hampus Olsson, a six-foot-five 212-pounder from Angelholm, Sweden, who turned 19 on April 20, in the first round of the Canadian Hockey Leagues Import Draft on Wednesday.

Olsson will join Alex Henriksson, a first-round pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, marking the first time the Battalion has had two Swedes filling its import quota. Right winger Henriksson, also 19, produced 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in 68 games in his debut season and added 10 points, including seven goals, in 17 playoff games.

“Alex and I have been buddies since we were kids, Olsson said Thursday via telephone from Turkey, where hes vacationing. He can help me with the routine, outside the rink and on the ice. When I spoke to him before, he said that its a great adventure and the hockey is awesome and quick and full of energy. He highly recommended it.”

Olsson suggested hell bring a rugged style to North Bay.

“Ill hit some people into the boards. Ill stay in front of the net on the power play and screen the goalie. Ill be a pain for the other team’s defence and score some goals.”

Olsson, a left shot, registered 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points with 115 penalty minutes in 92 games over three seasons with the Rogle junior team, part of an organization based in his home town, a coastal community of 40,000 in southwestern Sweden.

“It’s important for me to know what Im supposed to do over there. I have to do what Im good at, because if I don’t Ill be sent home, and I promise you won’t have to do that. Ill go 100 percent for what Im good at.”

Olsson also played 13 games last season for Rogle’s entry in the HockeyAllsvenskan, the second-highest professional league in Sweden, scoring one goal.

“It helped me a lot. I got more self-confidence, and theres more speed. I trained a lot with them, too. Every time I stepped on the ice with them, I was moving forward.”

He said hes been preparing for a move to North America for some time.

“I was in some camps last year in the United States and I wanted to go, but my mom and dad said I had to finish school first. That was the best thing to do, for now Ive graduated school. Ive heard that everybody loves hockey in Canada. Ive heard the league is very good.”

Stan Butler, Battalion director of hockey operations and head coach, said he looked for an older import who could help offset the graduation of overagers Barclay Goodrow, Matt MacLeod and Ben Thomson.

“Olsson is a big body. We felt that we had a lot of good Canadian prospects who are in the 1997, 1998 age group. Losing three overage forwards, we felt that if we were going to add a player we had to add one who was a little bit older and could come in and play for us right away.

“The one knock on him is his skating, but now the rinks are 15 feet narrower. Ive heard hes a very good kid. I talked to a lot of head scouts in the National Hockey League, and they feel hell fit in with the style of play we have. Were trying to establish some size with our team.”

More News
San Jose selects Coe
2 weeks ago
OHL outlines tentative return
1 month ago
OHL plans for Dec. 1 start
3 months ago
Imports important to future
4 months ago
Troops make Petrov top pick
4 months ago
Import pick promises impact
4 months ago
Four named to virtual camp
4 months ago
Episode 7 - Dalyn Wakely
7 days ago
Episode 6 - Ty Hollett
4 weeks ago
Episode 5 - Mason Primeau
2 months ago