Gustav Olofsson is a name many more people in and around the hockey world are becoming familiar with. At the age of just 19, Olofsson has already accomplished more than most hockey players can even dream of.
Adding to the growing list of athletic achievements, the freshman defenseman for our own Colorado College Tigers was recently selected to play for Sweden’s upcoming Under-20 World Junior Championship team.
The World Junior Championship is a huge stage for the world’s top hockey prospects, a stage where greats like Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby first made their names. There are plenty of reasons this selection will be particularly special for Olofsson, other than the honor of representing his country on an international stage.
Having lived in the United States playing hockey since 2010, Olofsson has been overlooked by many scouts in his country. As a result, the Umea, Sweden native was not selected for the Under-17 or Under-18 World Junior Championships, making this his first and last chance to play for Sweden as an amateur. Sweetening the deal even further, the 2014 World Junior Championships will be held in Malmo, Sweden.
Looking at Olofsson’s career, one can expect many more things to come. At the age of 17 he came to America to play for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League [USHL], where he was named to the USHL’s All-Rookie team and played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was named to the USHL’s All-Rookie team in his first season and played in the USHL/NHL — all before even attending Colorado College.
Before committing to the Tigers, Olofsson was selected as the Minnesota Wild’s first selection (46th overall) in the National Hockey League’s 2013 Draft.
While Colorado College Hockey is still viewed as a top program in the NCAA, Olofsson’s freshman season with the Tigers has been a bright spot in an otherwise bleak season. Olofsson was a big part of CC’s most recent victory against the University of Nebraska Omaha [UNO] last Saturday.
This victory gave the Tigers just their second victory of the entire 2013-2014 season to go with their overall record of 2-10-3 along with a horrendous 0-6-1 record on the road. Obviously, despite the team’s current down season, Olofsson’s play and athletic ability have not gone unnoticed.
When addressing why the Minnesota Wild decided to draft him with their first pick, Assistant General Manager Brent Fahr was nothing short of glowing in his analysis of Olofsson.
The assistant GM was quoted saying, “Gustav is a big mobile D-man… he’s an intelligent player with quality natural instincts for the game. We feel like his game will continue to improve as he gets stronger and gains experience.”
Luckily for Colorado College, students here will be the ones who get watch him grow and continue improving his already proven skills. Hopefully as he improves, so can his team as the Tigers hope to turn around their season.
Seeing the freshman have not only personal, but also team success while he plays for the Tigers would be a treat before watching the rest of his career on television.