William Quist is a very tall, somewhat lanky yet speedy Swedish hockey player. He was drafted by the Oilers in the 6th round (157th overall) in the 2007 NHL entry draft. The six-foot-three inch left winger from Nybro, Sweden attended Oilers development camp this past fall.
“I have to work on my stability as a hockey player. I trained very hard this summer and I think I’m going in the right direction to come play here (Edmonton) soon.” said Quist.
The Oilers wanted Quist to come to Canada and play in the CHL this season but instead Quist signed a contract with Nybro, a men’s league below the Swedish Elite League (SEL). The Oilers were concerned that he wouldn’t get many minutes of ice time and that he would progress faster and become a stronger hockey player if he put a year or two under his belt in North America.
"The hockey in North America is good. It's way different than in Sweden. It's like another sport. It's a way tighter rink." said Quist. “I realize its going to be hard for me to make a bigger impact on Oilers, but I really want to go over and play for Stockton or Springfield next year if I can continue to do well this year.”
So far Quist has played quite well considering a few difficult emotional hurdles to overcome. Quist’s mother suffers from cancer which made a big impact on his decision to stay in Sweden.
“I had a tough start because I had a lot to think of beside the hockey. My mom got really sick in the beginning of the season and that affected my game a lot.” he said. “She is not doing too good right now. She is going through a tough treatment to take away the cancer. She has a long way to go, but we are hoping it will end well.”
Quist is playing more minutes than most would have guessed, including himself. Quist’s current team the Nybro Vikings are sitting in third spot in their league. They have played in 18 games this season going 11-7 for 34 points. Quist has recorded seven goals and nine assists for 16 points and has 10 PIM. He has played in all 18 games for the Vikings.
“I think I play a lot. Our coach is always playing the guys who are the best that day so it’s up to me every night how much I’m going to play.” Quist explained.
In addition to his Swedish Division team, Quist also played three games for Team Sweden in the World Junior Championships last year but he is now 20 years old so he will not be able to play for Sweden this year in Saskatchewan. He did not record any points and had four penalty minutes. He said he will definitely miss playing for Sweden this year and that he will definitely follow the team during the tournament.
“I cannot play for Sweden this year in Canada but I will for sure be watching the guys and cheering them on to bring home a medal to Sweden.”
Author: Kristi Hennessy | edmontonoilers.com