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Claimed:Origins - Mikael Svensson


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Mikael Svensson

 

Mikael Svensson grew up in a family where only one thing mattered – hockey. Growing up in Bromma, an area in the west of Stockholm, Svensson was surrounded by hockey (and ice!) from a young age.

 

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The neighbourhood of Bromma

 

At the age of three, Mikael was skating on the local pond, with the help of his father, Lars. By the time he was six, he was playing organized hockey in a local house league. He fit all the cliches that one often hears in the grassroots stories of current hockey stars.

 

The game runs in the family, too. Mikael's uncle, Magnus, played in the NHL with the Florida Panthers, and won a gold medal for Sweden at the 1994 Olympics. His cousin – also named Magnus (although he's more commonly known as Magnus Paajarvi, instead of Paajarvi-Svensson) currently plays for the St. Louis Blues of the NHL.

 

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Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson

 

Mikael's childhood idol was Bromma's hometown hero, Mats Sundin. Mikael, and most other boys in his neighbourhood, absolutely adored Sundin, and thus followed his Toronto Maple Leafs with as much dedication as possible. It was often difficult to watch NHL games in Sweden, but occasionally a game would be shown on the television, or highlights would be played on the news. Other than that, Mikael had to resort to the newspaper reports that routinely recounted Leafs games, telling the people of Bromma about the most recent feats of their most famous hockey son.

 

His love of all things Sundin climaxed in 2006, when the Swedish hero led Team Sweden to gold at the Olympic Games in Turin. Mikael was in attendance at the gold medal game, thanks to a very lucky Christmas present from his father.

 

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Mats Sundin at the Olympics

 

Mikael was good at hockey, sure. He regularly led his team in scoring, and did tend to stand out as the best player on the ice. But until he was seventeen, he'd never really considered a future in the sport. His father certainly wished he could, but Mikael just didn't see a point in pursuing a career as a hockey player. He was just in it for the fun of it.

 

That all changed one day, however. Mikael's school team was playing in the All-Stockholm championship. Of course, Mikael had played no small part in his team reaching the final game.

 

To add to the novelty of the event for the kids, the final game was played in the famous Globe Arena, Sweden's national hockey stadium. Mikael's entire school was dismissed to attend the game, and all the players' families were in the crowd as well. This would be Mikael's first taste of hockey in the spotlight.

 

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The Globe Arena, Stockholm

 

And if that wasn't enough, Mikael almost dropped dead when the “special guest” walking onto the ice for the ceremonial faceoff was none other than Mats Sundin himself. Mikael will tell anyone who asks that Sundin winked at him as he dropped the puck.

 

Mikael would score 2 goals in that game, including a dramatic overtime winner, as his team won the championship. Mikael claims that Sundin approached him after the game to congratulate him, and to insist that he pursue his passion.

 

So it was this that prodded Mikael, to his family's delight, to continue playing hockey. He was signed by Djurgarden, one of Stockholm's local teams, and played solidly. He was a constant offensive threat on the ice.

 

Mikael decided, however, that he'd deviate from the path that his family had now set for him. Instead of entering himself in the NHL draft, Mikael chose to go to the VHL, hoping a team would give him a chance in the exciting league.

 

Pros

  • Wrist shot: Svensson's wicked shot blows past goalies regularly. Some people have compared his release to that of Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs. In fact, several goalies in the Swedish league claim that when Svensson flicks his stick, the puck vanishes and materializes behind them. If you want to know how hard his shot is, just ask his mother's old washing machine.

  • Skating: The result of thousands of hours on the outdoor rink, battling wind and snow, Svensson skates explosively up and down the middle of the ice, blowing past defenders, making them dizzy. Once Svensson gets the puck in open ice, he's almost assured of a scoring chance, given his incredible speed.

  • Selflessness: Svensson was brought up right. He always had to share with his older brothers, and thus is very used to sharing the puck. He's capable of good, hard passes, and never hesitates to pass when it'll give his team a better scoring chance. He'll make whichever play is smarter – be it a blistering wrist shot or a smooth dish to his winger or point man

 

Cons

  • Backcheck: Despite his skating ability, Svensson's defensive game has never been great. His coaches always put him on lines with strong defensive players, so that Svensson doesn't have to get the puck in his own zone. He's not completely incompetent, but it can certainly be said that the backcheck is not his greatest talent.

  • Size: Svensson is definitely not a short man, at 6'1'', however his 180 pound frame is below average. Thus, Svensson has difficulty knocking opposing players off the puck, instead resorting to pokechecks and sticklifts. He can also often count on a strong pass from a teammate, as he's able to find space using his speed and receive a pass.

  • Discipline: A direct result of his reliance on the pokecheck and sticklift, Svensson tends to take a few too many penalties for hooking or tripping. He's not hot-headed, but he often is not cautious enough, catching his opponents hands or tripping them up. One can't really blame him for this, as he has no choice. Try as he might to bodycheck larger players, he doesn't have the build for it.

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Content: 3/3 - The Sundin story was heartwarming. Every hockey player has an idol and it was cool that you were able to use him as a motivator for Svensson. Having a hockey family background helps too! Overall great read.

 

Grammar: 2/2 - Didn't find much else. Good work!

 

he'd never really considered a future - he never really considered a future

 

Presentation: 1/1 - All good here.

 

Pros: 1.75/2 - Pros were good but your second one was a sentence short. The second sentence in that subsection could've probably be cut in half.

 

Cons: 2/2 - All good in this department.

 

Overall: 9.75/10

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Content: 3/3 - The Sundin story was heartwarming. Every hockey player has an idol and it was cool that you were able to use him as a motivator for Svensson. Having a hockey family background helps too! Overall great read.

 

Grammar: 2/2 - Didn't find much else. Good work!

 

he'd never really considered a future - he never really considered a future

 

Presentation: 1/1 - All good here.

 

Pros: 1.75/2 - Pros were good but your second one was a sentence short. The second sentence in that subsection could've probably be cut in half.

 

Cons: 2/2 - All good in this department.

 

Overall: 9.75/10

 

Hurray! Yeah I see what you mean about the skating "Pro". Could've broken up that last sentence, kinda long.

 

Btw, with all due respect, "He'd never" is grammatically valid, it's pluperfect!  :P

 

Thanks for your feedback and awesome pointz!

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For a second I thought the contraction "he'd" was short for "he would" which would've made the sentence sound weird. It just occurred to me that you most likely meant "he had". That's my mistake. But the sentence could've gone without the contraction. Sounds less clustered when you say the sentence aloud. Regardless, it didn't affect your grade, so it's all good mate. :cheers:

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