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Forsberg follows path of success to 2012 Draft

by Ryan Frankson / Edmonton Oilers
Pittsburgh, PA - Success just seems to have followed Filip Forsberg around for the past year, and the 17-year-old hopes that trend continues with a high selection at this weekend's NHL Entry Draft at the Consol Energy Centre.

Forsberg is NHL Central Scouting's  top-ranked European skater heading into the draft this Friday and Saturday, but that accolade is just one of many the 6-foot-1, 188-pound centreman has attained recently in his budding career.

Forsberg won a pair of U-18 silver medals with Sweden in 2011, tallying 11 points in 12 games combined between the IIHF U-18 Championship and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He followed that up as the youngest player on Sweden's gold-medal-winning entry at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary, scoring one assist.

Leksand is his hometown in Sweden and also who he plays for in the Swedish Second Division. Competing against predominantly older, bigger players, Forsberg scored 17 points in 43 games with Leksand in 2011-12, helping the squad finish second in the league standings.

Regardless of what happens at the Draft, he will spend one more season in Sweden, and his goal is to help Leksand win the Second Division and advance to the top circuit in the country, the Swedish Elite League.

"That's one of my biggest goals this season, to be a key player on that team and take the step up to the highest league," Forsberg said during Top Prospects Media Availability on Thursday. "I think Leksand is one of the best teams, historically, in Sweden, and I think they should be in the highest league, so that would be a huge honour. I hope to play a big role."

Forsberg said he met with NHL teams as recent as Thursday morning just prior to the media availability, so he's looking forward to finding out which squad will draft him, likely as an early first-round selection on Friday night.

"I have no idea, actually … it could be anything," he said of possible draft scenarios. "It could be a trade one minute before you get drafted, or something else like that. I'm really looking forward to hearing my name. There are so many good players here at the draft. Anything can happen. I'm just trying to enjoy it. I'll have a new favourite team after this weekend."
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