BUFFALO - No player from Norway has ever been selected in the first round of the NHL Draft.

But 2024’s forecast calls for a chance of history.

Here at the NHL Combine, a pair of Norwegian skaters are being put through the paces, both with a chance to do something no one from their country has ever done before.

And Stian Solberg could be the first Norwegian first-rounder selected directly from a Norwegian club.

Solberg, a 6-foot-2 defenceman from Oslo, is in Buffalo with countryman Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, talking to NHL clubs, participating in physical tests.

All while wearing the Norwegian flag as a badge of honour.

“You always want to make your country proud,” Solberg said during a pause in his meeting schedule. “Me and Michael (are) the only Norwegian guys here.

“We’re just trying to do our best and get Norway on the map here.”

Solberg is here as the 20th-ranked International skater per NHL Central Scouting; Brandsegg-Nygard sits at No. 5 on the same list.

And they both put themselves on the map, so to speak, during the recently completed World Championship in Czechia.

Brandsegg-Nygard chipped in with five points during the tournament, while Solberg added a pair of goals and an assist from the backend.

For his efforts, Solberg was named one of the top three players on his team at the conclusion of the tournament.

“It’s always special to play for your country, also great to experience being at the Worlds, playing against great players,” said Solberg of his World Championship experience. “I think I handled it in a really good way. Just a good experience to play with the best guys in Norway.

“I had a really good time there.”

Back at home, Solberg skated with Valerenga - one of the country’s top sports clubs - this past season, during which he put up 15 points during the regular season, and nine more during a playoff run that saw his side reach the league final.

Next season, he’s set to skip across to Sweden, to play for Djurgardens in the SHL.

But his time in Norwegian club hockey was definitely memorable.

“The rinks are decent, some are bigger than others as it is here (in the United States),” he said. “The rinks are maybe 5,000, 6,000 (capacity). But a great atmosphere in pretty much all of the games, always a full house.

“Norway hockey is on the way up. It’s a competitive league, everybody can skate and play hard.”

Solberg plays hard. He hits hard, too.

And that’s one facet of his game - a real competitive streak - that he really relishes.

“I really like the physical play,” he said with a grin. “I really enjoy being in the other team’s face, (making) sure that they don’t have a good time. I really enjoy that part of the game.”

Next up for Solberg, the physical testing.

He’ll be put through the paces Saturday morning to cap off his week here.

It’s been an enjoyable experience, but just like he does on the ice, Solberg wants to end his time in Buffalo with a bang.

“I’m enjoying my time here. Really fun, (getting) to know everybody, every prospect,” he said. “But the testing starts now, I’m looking to that too just to show that I’m a strong guy.

“I’m here to compete.”