2
Photo Credit: Bildbryän

Snap Shots: Canucks Draft Pick Nils Höglander at the World Junior Championships

All eyes will be on Nils Hoglander at this year’s tournament after Andrei Svechnikov scored the second “Nyssa” goal of his brief NHL career. While Svechnikov may have popularized the move, Nils Höglander has been scoring lacrosse goals in professional leagues since Svech was a rookie. I may be biased,  but I think Höglander’s “Nyssa” goals have been way prettier.

The name “Nyssa” has many meaning, including “goal” (Greek) or “friendly elf” (Scandinavian). It is also Nils’ nickname with his SHL teammates. While Hoglander’s size may make him elf-like, he’s more feisty than friendly, taking a five-game suspension earlier this season for throwing a reverse elbow. Since the suspension ,he has been very productive as a 19 year old in the SHL, scoring four goals and three assists in 12 games.

His ice time has been increasing as the season goes on. Over his past six games, Nils has logged over 18 minutes twice. Those were both career highs for diminutive Swede, who has been improving every part of his game over these past two season in the SHL.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I spoke with Nils before he took off to Sweden’s camp. He said that his coaches and him watch video every day, specifically to improve his defensive game. Nils has also been working on his shot more and wants to be an offensive force for Sweden this year after getting cut from last year’s Swedish Junior Team.

“I’m excited, it was tough for me last year. I was cut from the team so ya I’m excited. We have a good team this year.” said Höglander. I was texting Nils after our conversation and wished his luck at the World Juniors. He agreed to not score any goals against Canada if we as British Columbians can help him find some good fishing spots.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Nils Höglander will be asked to be one of the offensive leaders at this year’s tournament. Nils has been a part of the first line for Sweden in their pre tournament games, getting a chance to skate with David Gustafsson and Samuel Fagemo. Gustafsson has been loaned to Team Sweden from the Winnipeg Jets and has one goal in 22 NHL games, while Fagemo is a second round pick of the LA Kings and has six goals and five assists in 20 SHL games this season.

Nils Höglander will be a huge part of Sweden’s power play. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run the left side of the first unit. This is a spot where he plays a lot when he is with Rögle BK in the SHL. He has great vision and can make cross ice passes with ease. He can fire his much improved shot to generate rebounds or snipe the far side corner if he takes an aggressive approach towards the net.

Canucks fans will have lots of reasons to tune in to the WJC this year, since the team has two of the best players in this tournament with Höglander and Vasili Podkolzin. These two players may have very different body types, but they can both be ferocious on the puck against players their own age. I’m expecting a huge tournament from Nyssa, who could have some magic in store for Canucks fans, whether it be a lacrosse goal or a signature Swedish snipe. Nils will put on a show in this tournament and make the 6 AM games worth waking up for.