Usually there's some time needed for European players to adjust to the smaller North American ice. But for Danish-born Oliver Bjorkstrand of the Portland Winterhawks, the move has looked awfully easy.
The 5-foot-10.5, 167-pound right wing finished his weekend with back-to-back two-goal games as the Winterhawks extended their win streak to 12 games.
After being kept off the score sheet in Portland's 9-5 win in Vancouver on Friday, he had a pair of goals and an assist in a 9-1 win at the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday. And on Sunday, in a match between the top two teams in the Western Hockey League, Bjorkstrand scored a pair of power-play goals in a 3-1 win against the Kamloops Blazers.
For the season, Bjorkstrand leads all WHL rookies with 11 goals, 20 points and a plus-15 rating. He earned a B rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft.
"This kid is playing really well," Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told NHL.com. "He finds the holes and he does the little things well. He's always on the puck. As soon as the puck drops, he's got it and something's happening and you notice him. He's just playing really well. I was really impressed with him."
Here is how a few other WHL draft candidates performed over the weekend:
* Regina left wing Morgan Klimchuk had a pair of goals in the Pats' 6-3 loss at Saskatoon on Friday.
* Calgary Hitmen defenseman Alex Roach had two goals and an assist in his team's 5-2 win against the Victoria Royals on Friday.
* Medicine Hat teammates Hunter Shinkaruk and Curtis Valk had a goal and an assist each in the Tigers' 5-2 win against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday. They combined for four points in Saturday's 5-3 loss to Victoria -- Shinkaruk had a goal and an assist, and Valk had two assists.
* Spokane left wing Todd Fiddler had a goal and two assists in his team's 5-2 defeat of Kamloops on Friday.
* Austin Lotz stopped all 35 shots he faced in the Everett Silvertips' 5-0 win at the Tri-City Americans on Friday. Teammate Mirco Mueller had a pair of assists in the win.
* Portland centers Adam De Champlain and Nicolas Petan combined for four goals and six points in Friday's win at Vancouver. De Champlain had a pair of goals, while Petan had two goals and two assists.
* Regina right wing Dyson Stevenson had three goals and an assist in his team's 4-0 defeat of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday.
* Seattle defenseman Shea Theodore had a goal and two assists in the thunderbirds' 6-2 win at the Saskatoon Blades. Teammate Roberts Lipsbergs had a goal and an assist.
* Brandon defenseman Eric Roy assisted on both Wheat Kings goals in his team's 3-2 loss to the Swift Current Broncos on Sunday.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK