Sens prospect Filip Ahl looks to find some stability in North America after being selected 31st overall in the CHL Import Draft by the Regina Pats yesterday.
Ahl, born in Jönköping, Sweden, is in town for the Sens annual Development Camp so we caught up with him after today's on-ice session at the Bell Sensplex to talk about playing in the CHL next season... On if he anticipated being selected in the CHL Draft:
I had talked with my agent about it for a long time and I think playing in the CHL is a good opportunity for me to continue my career. It will be good for me to play on the smaller rinks with my size and strength.
On gaining some stability playing for only one team next season:
That's going to help a lot. I didn't get too much playing time with HV71 in the pro league so I just tried to play as much as I could and ended up playing for four different teams last season. This season I'll be focused on playing for just one team and it will be so much better for me.
His goals for Development Camp:
I'm going to prove at this camp that I'm a good hockey player who can work hard and compete. I also want to use my size much more than I've done in the past.
We also had a chance to speak with Sens Chief Amateur Scout Bob Lowes who is not only a Regina native but has played for and coached the Pats in the past. Here are his thoughts about Ahl continuing his development in North America... His thoughts on Ahl playing for Regina:
Well I think we go back to Tobias Lindberg and what it did for him. I think they're similar players at 18 years old and are coming off similar type seasons. We felt that developmentally it could have been a little bit better for Ahl so we look at what it did for Tobias when he came over for his 19 year old season and played on a good team in North America. We're hoping the same thing with Filip.
On how playing in the CHL could be beneficial to his development:
The thing about coming over to North America are the rinks are smaller and the pace of play is different. A team like Regina plays a high pace game which I think will be good for him. I think Filip needs to play with more pace and it's an opportunity for him to play in their top 6 so he'll have a chance to play with Adam Brooks, who was drafted by Toronto in the fourth round and was the leading scoring in the Western League, or Sam Steel, who was drafted by Anaheim in the first round. It's a really appealing place for him to play and a great spot for him.