-Svensson was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round (10th overall) of the 2009 NHL entry draft. The 6-foot-1, 201 pound native of Norrkoping, Sweden has already found his foot kicking open many doors when it comes to hockey in Sweden and North America.
Many would describe him as a fast strong skater who likes to score goals and doesn’t mind doing the dirty work to get the puck in the back of the net.
“Power forward. Goes to the net very well and is a great skater.” said Oilers Assistant GM Kevin Prendergast. “ Didn’t perform as well as I think he’d like to have at the World Juniors and at the Under 18 he struggled a bit too but he’s a player that we think is going to be a very very good NHL’er down the road.”
He became the youngest player in Swedish hockey history to represent his country at the World Junior Championship, when he had a goal and an assist in six games as a 16-year-old in 2008. Earlier that season, he became the fourth-youngest player (16 years, 5 months, 12 days) to debut in the Swedish Elite League, where had 3 points in 35 games with Timra IK.
North American hockey fans got a sneak peek of Paajarvi-Svensson at the 2009 WJC in Ottawa, when he had 2 goals and 5 assists, and set up Sweden's lone goal in the gold-medal game.
“Every time I see the yellow or blue shirt I get excited. I just love it. Seeing my own name on the shirt, I feel proud of myself.” said Paajarvi. “I just want to go out and represent my country as good as possible.”
Paajarvi-Svensson will have the chance to put on his yellow and blue shirts when he joins Team Sweden again at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan, Canada.
After seven straight losses, Paajarvi-Svensson and his team, the Timra Red Eagles of the Swedish Elite League, finally found themselves on the winning end picking up two points against the Frolunda Indians on Sunday in front of 4,044 fans.
Paajarvi picked up his 7th goal on the season in the second period on the powerplay and added an assist in the third period giving him 12 points so far this season. Timra is currently tied with MODO Ornskoldsvik for last spot (12th) in the Swedish Elite League with 14 points in 16 games. They have allowed 50 goals, the most in the Swedish Elite League.
He said that playing in North American could happen as soon as the 2010-11 season, after he finishes the final season of his deal with Timra.
"I think I can play in the NHL next year for sure,"said Paajarvi. "My plan is to take a bigger role in Timra and the elite league and have a bigger responsibility on my team, be a guy that the team can rely on. That's my plan, but I'm pretty open."
Something you don’t know about Paajarvi?
Dressing room rituals?
“No, nothing. But I have a special thing I do on the ice that may look strange. If I get a hit on my left side I tap my right side directly after. You know, to make a balance. You don't see it if you don't know about it.” he said.
Future Watch appears every Tuesday at edmontonoilers.com