COLUMBUS, Ohio -
The Columbus Blue Jackets
development camp served as a reunion of sorts for Swedes Alexander Wennberg and Oscar Dansk.
Both Wennberg, a forward, and Dansk, a goaltender, most recently played for Sweden's national team in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships
in Ufa, Russia back in January. However, that was not the first time the two were teammates. They have made appearances together for Team Stockholm and Team Sweden before, and the two currently share the same agent. Off the ice and away from the rink, Wennberg and Dansk are good friends and hang out together.
“We practice together at the same facility in Stockholm," Wennberg told BlueJackets.com
. "Outside of hockey, we’ll work out together and grab something to eat. Oscar is a great friend.”
Dansk said that he hoped his friend would join him in Columbus when he watched the 2013 NHL Draft this year. His wish came true when Wennberg was selected at No. 14 overall by Columbus, and both players have had a great time being teammates again this week at development camp.
“We’ve hung out a lot with each other since we came here," said Dansk. "We talk a lot and share the experience with each other."
Dansk and two other Swedes at development camp, Daniel Zaar and Anton Forsberg, have taken it upon themselves to help Wennberg adjust to life and playing in the United States. Because the ice is bigger and wider in international play, it's sometimes difficult for European players to get used to the smaller ice surface.
"Playing in the US is a little bit different because the game is a bit quicker than in Sweden," said Wennberg. "It’s a good experience, so I just have to adjust to this type of game.”
Though Dansk, Wennberg and the other Swedes have had fun spending time together, they know what they have to work on and have high hopes for the future.
“I feel like I’m getting my groove back," said Dansk. "It’s nice to be here and getting shots with these guys who are really good guys. I really like it and I’m looking forward to the rest of camp.”
Dansk and Wennberg hope they can continue their hockey careers as teammates one day in the NHL. With hard work and a continued upward trajectory, that time may come sooner than they think.