Michael Finewax

Olympic Preview

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Olympic Preview: Pool B

Monday, February 10, 2014







Lars Haugen (Dinamo Minsk - BLR/KHL) - The 26-year-old is the veteran in net as Volden and Soberg are 21 and 20 respectively. Haugen plays for Dinamo Minsk in the KHL where he 5-12 this season with a 2.67 GAA and a .910 save percentage. His stats for Dinamo were a lot better last season with a 13-7-1 record to go with an eye-popping 1.81 GAA and a .933 save percentage. He looks to be the starter for the Norwegians in Sochi.

Lars Volden (Espoo Blues - FIN) - Volden is in his second year of action with Espoo of the Finnish Elite League. He was drafted in the sixth round by Boston in 2011 and the 21 year-old has played well in a limited role. He was 4-4-1 last season with a 2.01 GAA and a .927 save percentage while this season his GAA is 2.59 with a .908 save percentage in 16 games.

Steffen Soberg (Valerenga Oslo - NOR) - Soberg was taken in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft by the Washington Capitals but still is playing in the Norwegian League which is not considered elite hockey. Soberg has played 34 games for Valerenga with a 2.16 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He played three games for Norway at the World U20 Championships in 2011 with a .913 save percentage which was ninth best in the tournament, better than Robin Lehner (.906) and Philipp Grubauer (.888).


Alexander Bonsaksen  (Valerenga Oslo - NOR) - Bonsaksen is a 27-year-old defenseman who played a couple of seasons in the Swedish Elite League with Modo before returning to his native Norway for the last three seasons. He is a defensive defenseman so do not expect to hear his name very often in the scoring summary.

Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl - RUS) - Holos played half a  season in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche in the 2010-11 season but then returned to Europe where he played a couple of seasons in the Swedish Elite League before joining Lokomotiv Yaroslavl  of the KHL this season where he has five goals and 11 points in 48 games. He will likely play the point on the Norwegian power play at the Sochi Games.   

Henrik Solberg (Stavanger Oilers - NOR) - The 26-year-old blueliner has spent his entire career in Norway so he could be overwhelmed in the Olympics where the pace of the play will just be a lot quicker. Solberg had three goals and 10 points in 30 games this season.

Daniel Sorvik (Valerenga Oslo - NOR) - Sorvik is only 23 and also has spent his career playing for Valerenga of the Norwegian League.  He has five goals and 19 points in 34 games with a plus-19 rating. 

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Farjestad Karlstad - SWE) - A third round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002, Tollefsen played five seasons  in the NHL, ending his career in the Detroit farm system after being traded from Philadelphia in exchange for Ville Leino. He returned to Europe and has been playing in Sweden since 2010. He played for Norway at the Olympics in 2010 where he had 25 penalty minutes in three games as he had all 25 for his hit on Slovakia's Lubos Bartecko.

Mats Trygg (Lorenskog - NOR) - The 37-year-old offensive defenseman was quite impressive in the World Cup in 2012 as he had five goals and an assist in eight games. The veteran has played in Germany and Sweden during most of his career but returned to his native Norway this season. Look for Trygg to play the point on the power play in Sochi.

Henrik Odegaard  (Missouri Mavericks - CHL) - This is Odegaard's first season in North America and he has played his season with Missouri of the CHL and one game for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. He has three assists in 36 games with Missouri but he has never been an offensive defenseman, even in the lowly Norwegian Leagues.  Look for Odegaard to be a stay-at-home defenseman in Sochi.


Morten Ask (Valerenga Oslo - NOR) - Ask is a third or fourth line center and he'll likely play against the opponents top line. He played 13 games with Las Vegas over a couple of seasons but that was almost 10 years ago and his scoring prowess has diminished. The 33-year-old has had some success offensively in the last couple of seasons in Norway as he had 39 points in 27 games last season and 47 points in 33 games in 2013-14.

Anders Bastiansen (Farjestad Karlstad - SWE) - Bastiansen is another 33-year-old center who is a good defensive player. He has played in the Swedish Elite League since the 2004-05 season but is not much of a scorer. He had seven points in 31 games for Farjestad heading into the Olympics.

Robin Dahlstrom (Orebro HK - SWE) -The 26-year-old has played the last three seasons in Sweden, mostly in the second division where he has been more of  a defensive forward. He has only two goals in 25 games for Orebro this season. This is his first Olympics.

Kristian Forsberg (MODO Ornskoldsvik - SWE) - This is the second Olympics for Forsberg who was held scoreless in four games in Vancouver. Forsberg is a defensive forward as his best offensive season in Sweden was last year when he had four goals and 11 points in 53 games. The 27-year-old has five goals and eight points for Modo this season.


Mads Hansen (Storhamar Dragons - NOR) - Hansen is one of the veterans on the Norwegian side as the 35-year-old returned to Norway to play this season after seven years in Sweden playing for Brynas. He was not a big scorer in Sweden as his best season was in 2008-09 when he had 14 goals and eight helpers. Hansen scored once in the 2010 Olympics.


Fredrik Lystad Jacobsen (Storhamar - NOR) - Jacobsen has replaced Marius Holtet who was named to the original team in early January.  Jacobsen, who will turn 24 during the tournament, has played his career in Norway. He could be a healthy scratch during the Olympics, barring an injury.   

Sondre Olden (Valerenga Oslo - NOR) - Olden was a third round pick by Toronto in the 2011 Draft but the Maple Leafs released him because he struggled with the pace of play and his skating never improved from his draft year. He played one season in the OHL with the Erie Otters where he had 11 goals and 32 points in 48 games. He has played the last two seasons with Valerenga of the Norwegian League and has 48 points with 22 goals in 34 games this season.

Ken Andre Olimb (DEG Dusseldorf - GER) - Olimb is a 25-year-old forward and is the brother of Mathis.  Olimb is playing his first season in Germany where he has nine goals and 24 points. Olimb played the previous three seasons in Sweden where he had 36 goals and 95 points in 143 games with Leksand of the Allsvenskan League.

Mathis Olimb (Frolunda Gothenburg - SWE) - Olimb saw action in the AHL during the 2010-11 season where he had 10 goals and 32 points in 60 games with the Rockford IceDogs.  He returned to Sweden the following year and has now played four seasons for Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League where he has 33 goals and 122 points in 186 games. This is the second Olympics for Olimb who had two assists in four games during the Vancouver Games.

Mats Rosseli Olsen (Frolunda Gothenburg - SWE) - The speedy winger has a lot of offensive talent but the 22-year-old has been a slow starter in the Swedish Elite League as he has six goals and 14 points in 45 games after a three goal, nine point performance in 54 games last season with Frolunda.

Niklas Roest (BIK Karlskoga - SWE-2) - The 27-year-old left winger is playing in his first season in the Swedish Allsvenskan League after playing in Norway to start his career. He is not being counted on to score as his one goals and seven points this season with Karlskoga will attestto .

Martin Roymark (Farjestad Karlstad - SWE) - Roymark has played the last five seasons in Sweden and his best season thus far was in 2010-11 when he had 14 goals and 23 points for Timra in 55 games. This season he has seven goals and 11 points in 46 games for Farjestad. Roymark in now 27 and played in the 2010 Olympics where he was pointless in four games.


Per-Age Skroder (MODO Ornskoldsvik - SWE) - The veteran of the Norwegian squad played only two shifts in the 2010 Olympics before getting hurt against Canada and missing the rest of the tournament. He has been a gifted scorer in the Swedish Elite League over his long career as he has 236 goals and 469 points in 750 games. He has not scored as often as he enters the latter stages of his career as he has only eight goals this season with 11 assists in 43 games with Modo.


Patrick Thoresen (SKA St. Petersburg - RUS) - The only member of the Norwegian team to be playing in the KHL, Thoresen played 106 games in the NHL mostly with the Oilers and had six goals and 24 points. He has played the last five seasons in the KHL, and has been an above average scorer with 98 goals and 242 points in 240 games. Thoresen led the Norwegians in scoring during the 2010 Olympics as he had five assists in four games.


Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers - NHL) - The best player that Norway has ever produced, the diminutive Zuccarello has starred with the Rangers this season with 15 goals and 43 points. He had a goal and two assists in four games at the 2010 Olympics and will lead the squad this season as he will play on the top line and head up the power play. The next few years should be the 26-year-old's most productive in the NHL.

Michael Finewax is entering his 10th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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