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11 Eleven

Bjorn To Play: First Tastes of the VHLM

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Scoringsonn celebrates his first goal for Philadelphia.

 

Bjorn Scoringsonn has had a mixed bag of performance as his debut season with the Philadelphia Reapers has come to an end, with the squad not able to produce to their potential and make the post-season. Not much was expected from Bjorn, a player who for most of his life has flown unnoticed under the radar. He lets his play on the ice do the talking, and as the season progressed and Bjorn got more comfortable with the team, he was able to contribute more consistently.

 

Many scouts and pundits noticed Bjorn improve his skating, goal scoring and passing as the season progressed. He came in quite raw, despite being a top ranked junior in Iceland, he found himself playing in a league full of top ranked players from their own countries. It took him long to fall back to Earth and realise he wasn’t the best player on the ice anymore – far from it. He had to learn how to play in a team construct, to pass and defend, to do the little things on both sides of the puck that would help his team gain advantages. He would go on to explain his shortcomings with the aid of a translator:

 

“I came in not knowing English very well, which made transitioning to the VHLM that much more difficult. Having to adjust to an entirely different environment in America and being away from my family at such a young age has definitely taken its toll. But I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. Hopefully I can enter the VHLM draft with some momentum behind me and look towards buckling down for the VHL.”

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Bjorn working hard both on and off the court: seen here practicing his English in an interview.

Bjorn’s words about slowly integrating and transitioning himself into the Philadelphia style of hockey ring true when you look at his last few games: solid results, while Philly didn’t win. Most glaringly, Bjorn’s individual play improved, including a two-point performance against the Saskatoon Wild in his final game of the season. His two assists speak volumes of his development: Bjorn came into the league as a known goal scorer, while his passing and defending left a lot to be desired.

 

“I came from a junior system in Iceland that didn’t have the strongest of players. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I was far and away the best player of my age group, and I did things by myself a lot of the time. I could get used to this passing thing [chuckles].”

 

Bjorn’s eyes now look to the VHLM draft, where his stock has been steadily climbing over the past few weeks. His late entrance into the VHLM took many by surprise as not many teams took notice of him at all, which made his decision to join Philadelphia all the easier.

 

“I hope to be drafted by Philadelphia again: they took a chance on a kid from Iceland and I want to repay that by displaying my loyalty. With that in mind, though, I know it’s a business now and I’ll play my heart out for any team that drafts me.”

 

Scoringsonn’s stock, while on the rise, is still a mystery to many. While he could theoretically make is way into the Top 5, the Top 10 seems like a more realistic target for the young man from Iceland. He looks to a full off-season training with whichever team he ends up with, hopefully doing enough to lead them to a VHLM championship.

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