Gustav Olhaver was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round (191st overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Swedish center split his time last season between the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League. He recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in 21 games in Seattle and went on to score three points (one goal, two assists) in 20 contests with the Broncos.
Prior to his 2015-16 campaign in North America, the 19-year-old forward played for his hometown team, Rogle BK, in Angelholm. There, in 2014-15, he recorded 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) in 18 games for the under-18 team and 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 41 games for the junior team.
Olhaver will return to his native Sweden this year to play for Rogle's junior club.
ColoradoAvalanche.com sat down with Olhaver earlier this summer.
How would you describe the hockey atmosphere playing at home in Sweden?
"I think it's a good hockey atmosphere there. Especially where I play, the fans¬¬-for the pro team-the fans are crazy. They scream and shout a lot. They usually sing about the players and stuff."
How was the transition of going to play hockey in Canada? What were some of the big differences?
"Well, first of all, I think just playing in small rinks. The game is faster here, quicker, more physical, so that's a big, main change I think. And then outside the rink, it was more about taking care of yourself."
What has been your first impression of the Avalanche organization?
"So professional, I mean top quality organization. From the equipment manager to the staff, they're all great. It's a really good organization."
Are there any NHL players that you try to model your game after?
"Not really right now. I mean, I've always been a fan of Rick Nash and those guys. Peter Forsberg has been my childhood idol."
Do you have any favorite moments from your hockey career?
"Getting drafted; that was a special moment. And playing for the national team at the Under-18 World Championship-that was pretty cool, too."
What do you like to do when you're off the ice?
"I just hang out with my buddies, have fun, go fishing at the lake. This summer I tried to get a good tan, but it didn't really work out-it rained a lot in Sweden."
What is your favorite band or artist?
"Some Swedish DJs. Probably like Avicii, those guys."
What is your favorite TV show?
"I watch Game of Thrones. I'm a big fan of Game of Thrones actually."
If you weren't playing hockey, what would you be doing?
"I would probably play another sport. Probably soccer. I played soccer when I was a kid but then hockey was more fun so I started just playing hockey, but I was pretty good at soccer."
Was there a specific moment when you realized you wanted to be a hockey player?
"Well it was more fun. There was more action in hockey, so that's why I chose it. Everything happens with much more pace in hockey."
What is your best attribute as a hockey player?
"I think my vision and, especially after this season, using my size and seeing the game pretty well."