BAKERSFIELD, CA - After finishing out the 2018-19 AHL season with the Bakersfield Condors, Patrick Russell is bound for Slovakia.
The right-winger from Denmark will link up with the Danish National Team in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia for the third-straight season at the 2019 IIHF World Championship with his nation holding a record of 1-1-0-1 and five points in Group A.
"It's always an honour to play for your national team and put on that jersey," Russell said. "I wish I was still here playing, but as it is, the opportunity came up and I said yes. It's always an honour."
Video: CONDORS | Patrick Russell 05.15.19
A trip to the World Championship will be the final stop on a season of growth for the 25-year-old, who earned his first NHL call-up and played six games with the Edmonton Oilers earlier this campaign.
"It was obviously a dream come true playing up there and I only have praise for the coaching staff down here," Russell said. "They really helped me, and we have such a great group of guys down here. I think we have a bright future. Young, good guys and they all want to get better every day. That's the important thing."
The 6-foot-1 forward notched 40 points, including 18 goals, in 51 AHL games this season and a further seven points (2G, 5A) in 10 playoff contests.
"We've been through so many ups and downs this year. We lost a lot of games then went on a 17-game win streak," Russell said. "You couldn't ask for a better group of guys to do this with. All 29 guys in there are unbelievable guys.
"It was always a joy coming to the rink every day. You were just looking forward to waking up, hanging with the guys, getting better, but also have a smile on your face every day."