How hard was it for you to get used to life in Atlanta as a young player coming all the way from Sweden?
Justin Velthuis, Ottawa
It wasn’t actually that hard. There were two other Swedish guys playing for us in Atlanta at that time and the teammates were really good. I liked it from the beginning. The organization took really good care of me so it went really smoothly.
What’s your favorite moment in hockey from when you were younger?
Devon Shepherd, Stony Plain, Alta.
Probably when I won the championship back home in Sweden (2007). I think that’s probably my biggest moment in hockey.
Who is the hardest player in the league to play against?
Josh Jackson, Stevensville, Md.
There are a lot of good players. I’d have to say Alex Ovechkin. He’s got everything – he’s just a complete hockey player. He knows how to play the game in all ways. The thing with him is he can play every kind of game. He can be tough, skilled, I mean you never know what you’re going to get from him. I think that’s what makes him so special.
How often and for how long do you get home for the summer?
Matt MacDonald, Winnipeg, Man.
Usually I go home right after the season. My first two years we didn’t make the playoffs, but hopefully it’s going to be later this year. I usually spend my whole summer back home in Sweden; I get a couple months back home.
During the off-season, what type of workouts do you do?
Alex Grizzel, Traverse City, Mich.
In the summertime I usually stay out of hockey. I don’t skate, I usually just workout in the gym on my conditioning. I actually workout with my old team back home: Modo.
What sparked the Thrashers good play at the end of last season? What was different form earlier in the year?
Steve Wilson, Atlanta
We got a new coach that season and it’s not supposed to take that long, but I don’t think everybody was on the same page for a couple months. And we played too much up and down. Finally, after Christmas, everyone figured it out and we played like a team; everyone on the same page. Hopefully this year we have a good start and everybody is going the same way.
What’s your favorite pre-game meal?
Brandon Renaud, Woodslee, Ont.
Pasta for sure. I eat a lot of pasta and chicken.
After your successful first year, did you feel teams were keying in on you more? Did you feel that there was more attention paid to you?
Rafal Ladysz, Windsor, Ont.
Of course. My first year was pretty good and other players will try to get you and stuff like that. I think my second year was almost like the first one.
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