The need for a left-handed defender with great offensive potential has rarely been greater than it is now among the Canadians.
In this 2020-2021 season where all hopes seemed to be permissible given Mark Bergven’s many acquisitions, one remark is clear: This team desperately needs another imaginary defender (plus Jeff Petrie) who can produce and coordinate five players. Five games. The success of the transition game depends on it.
Transaction deadlines are now a thing of the past, as CH leaders will, by the end of the campaign, either live or die with the employees they have.
However, there may be a silver lining in the long run …
Playing his first season in the Swedish Elite League (SHL) this year with Frolünda, the prospect of Habs Mattias Norlinder (a 21-year-old left-handed defender and picking the third round in 2019) has made many eyes wide open and seems to have a bright future. In the NHL.
At least that is the opinion of Joe Villino, a member of Team Quebec and First Red Wings Selection (2018) Who played last season in Malmö, Also at SHL.
In an interview with TVASports.ca, the person who has faced Nurlinder four times in the past few months has been extremely grateful to the young defender.
“He’s a good defender with a lot of skills. Villino started.
“Of course, because he’s so young he’s learning to play his games the right way, but all the tools are there. I think in a few years he will develop with the Canadians. He’s currently in good shape with Frolünda. It’s an organization that develops its young players very well.”
Image credit: Photo courtesy, Frolunda HC
In 2020, Mark Bergevin, too, did not hesitate to praise the merits of a skilled figure skater.
“This is one of our very bright hopes. There are people who are already in Montreal, like Kotkaniemi, Suzuki and Romanov. After this group, maybe it’s the group that excites us the most.”
“It can be very dangerous in the NHL”
One of the first reactions of a hockey fan when it comes to a player who has never seen him play before or a little is to go online to inquire about his stats.
In Norlinder’s case, let’s save some time. These are the numbers: 10 points, including five goals in 35 regular season matches, then five points, including three goals in seven playoff matches.
When you think of Norlinder’s young age and the defensive quality of SHL, there’s still a lot to admire.
For Villino, the potential influence of the Swede on the Pitman Arena could indeed be great, and that is in the not-too-distant future.
“I think in a few years’ time, if he remains healthy, Nurlinder can be a very dangerous defensive in the NHL. He has a knack …”
A few months ago, Hope CH told TVA Sports He intends to fully respect his agreement with Frolünda (which expires at the end of the next campaign) before considering moving to North America.
We have to admire his loyalty, but in the senior offices of the Bell Center, CH leaders must begin to get impatient to see him arrive “home”.
Meanwhile, the ball is at Matthias Norlinder Stadium.
On the one hand, he should continue his good progress in Sweden, but above all make sure he is fully prepared to experience the professional adventure on our side of the ocean when the time is right.
In a few years, will it become the famous rare pearl that Canadians have been searching for for many years?