I mentioned last week that Sens goaltending prospect Marcus Hogberg was a revelation to many at the World Juniors evaluation tournament in Lake Placid, N.Y., last week and it appears that he may be pushing the envelope on Team Sweden as well.
With Columbus prospect Oscar Dansk as the consensus favourite to start for Team Sweden come December prior to last week, it appeared as though Hogberg would be relegated to backup duty. After his strong showing against the United States, Hogberg appears to have forced his name into the starter conversation and, provided he has a good run to begin his season with Mora, he may be seeing his fair share of action in Malmo.
From Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News:
While Oscar Dansk has already been to the world juniors as Sweden’s third-stringer, it may not be an easy coronation with Hogberg coming on the scene. The Ottawa prospect had a very good showing in Lake Placid, stoning the Americans for a 4-0 shutout in a game where he had to make some lightning-quick saves on cross-crease plays.
“I play simple,” Hogberg said. “And I love to compete. That’s my strength.”
Hogberg wants to improve on his stickhandling and communication with his defenseman as his career moves on. Most recently with Linkoping, he will play for Mora this season, where he hopes to get more opportunities in net.
Given the early strides Hogberg has taken since joining the Sens, there is certainly plenty of room for optimism amongst fans regarding his presence in the pipeline. Assuming he ultimately doesn’t end up starting games for Sweden — the likely scenario — he has still found a way to push an older player who is entrenched at that level in the national program, which certainly bodes well for his development going forward.
You can get the rest of Kennedy’s report on Hogberg and other top prospects at the tournament here.
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