Nothing?s been lost in translation (or transition) for Sweden native and Idaho Steelhead David Fredriksson. The ninth-year pro moved from his home country this year to pursue the North American hockey dream with an impressive hockey resume and solid knowledge of English. His first stop: Boise, Idaho. ?I like it here,? said the 6?2? Fredriksson. ?It?s very similar to Sweden actually; not too big, not too small.? Fredriksson?s hometown of Jonkoping (pronounced yern-sheur-ping.) has a population of approximately 128,000 and ranks among Sweden?s 10-largest municipalities according to www.Jonkoping.se. It is home to HV71, a hockey club in the Elitserien, the country?s highest level of hockey. As a forward, Fredriksson helped lead HV71 to national championships in 2004 and 2008 and was also selected by the St. Louis Blues in the seventh round of the NHL draft in 2004. So Fredriksson decided to try his hand in North America, which meant more of a transition than just a transatlantic fight and a new apartment. ?Ice sheets are bigger in Europe so there?s more room,? said Idaho head coach Hardy Sauter. ?Because of that, their mindset is more focused on puck control; skate, shoot, pass versus a mindset that we can give up the puck, put it to an area, and work the opposition to get it back.? However, Fredriksson stated (in perfect English), and Sauter agrees, that the North American style of play fits his game better. ?I like the hockey more here,? Fredriksson said. ?Here it is more up and go with more hits and fighting and I think I?m that kind of player.? Despite an admitted adjustment period, the 215-pound wing has found his niche with the Steelheads and recently recorded a point in seven-straight games. He is currently tied for second on the team with 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in 12 appearances this season. ?It was very tough at the beginning of the season,? Fredriksson said. ?The hockey is very different, but I play with very good teammates. I feel that if I work hard good things will happen.? And while Fredriksson?s on-ice adjustment continues to impress, Sauter said his attitude and personality in the locker room have also made him popular among teammates. ?He fits right in,? Sauter said. ?The guys have a ton of fun with him and I see them joking with him all the time.? With an ever-increasing English vocabulary, the support of his teammates and coach and rare on-ice talent, Fredriksson?s confidence in himself and the Steelheads 2011-12 campaign is high. ?Hardy (Sauter) teaches us to work hard,? Fredriksson said. ?We have a pretty young team and it takes time, but I think we are back on track and good things are happening.? (Article written by Media Relations Intern Jake Drzayich)
Nothing lost in translation for Fredriksson
Friday, November 18th
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