- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
Capitals’ Mattias Sjogren brings pro experience to prospect camp
Ready for prime time?
Mattias Sjogren is hardly a raw prospect. At 23, he’s a veteran of three seasons in the Swedish Elite League.
So when the Washington Capitals signed Sjogren early in June, it wasn’t his plan to attend this development camp. He’s already developed and seems poised to at least make a strong bid for a roster spot in September.
But that’s precisely why Sjogren is here - to get accustomed to the team, Kettler Capitals Iceplex and the D.C. area, so he can concentrate on hockey when the stakes are higher.
“It’s an orientation for him not only on the ice but to know his way around — how to move around, how to get to the hotel, get to know the training staff and everything else — so that training camp is a little easier in that respect,” general manager George McPhee said. “Come here and figure out how everything works, and then when you come back in September it’s about getting on the ice and concentrating and focusing on playing well out there and you know everything else you need to know.”
Sjogren knows hockey. He has played 148 pro games in Sweden, racking up 59 points. This week, he’s by far the oldest player on the ice and looks like a man among boys who are trying to stick out.
Bruce Boudreau praised Sjogren’s toughness Monday for returning to practice soon after taking a goalie stick to the face and losing a tooth. But the Caps’ coach is used to players such as this, having been around centers Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson.
“That’s the one thing I found about the Swedish guys that we’ve had — from Nicky and Marcus — they’re really tough,” Boudreau said. “[Sjogren] knocked out a tooth, loosened another one, but he wanted to get back out there - full marks for that.”
While Johansson is one of Sjogren’s best friends, the center is a different kind of player than his Swedish contemporaries. Sjogren is 6-foot-1 and 209 pounds and likes to hit rather than just be a finesse playmaker.
“I think I’m more a defense guy, but I will try to improve my offensive game and toughness. I play physical,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m just a hitter. I try to be everywhere, especially when you’re a center you have to be good on offense and defense.”
Sjogren talked to Johansson about this particular camp, which was vital to making the team a year ago. But this is a far different situation - Sjogren already has an experience edge on these kids. Sjogren’s presence this week has other benefits, though.
“I think it’s good for me to come over here and show myself,” he said. “The coaches haven’t seen me play live yet, so it’s a way to show them how I play and to get adjusted and learn the system.”
“They had their own way to come here,” Sjogren said. “It’s fun for me to see Marcus, who I grew up with, seeing how he adjusted so quick and made a great season out there. Maybe it’s good for my confidence, too, when those guys can make it so easily, so quickly.”
Sjogren’s North American agent, Rich Winter, was asked if he had any conversations with the Caps about his client playing in the AHL if he doesn’t make the big club and said, “He will play in the NHL. We are convinced of that.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow