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Oskar Olausson Hopes to Put Rough WJC Showing in the Past

The Colorado Avalanche prospect is better prepped for WJC success, and Sweden will need him to be at his best.

It was never about last year, but still, things probably should have gone better for Oskar Olausson at the 2021 World Junior Championship. 

After all, nobody wants to be on the fourth line averaging just over nine minutes a game with zero points, especially when you’re as accustomed to scoring as Olausson is.

Actually, things went badly for Tre Kronor all around. The Swedes were a deep and experienced team that went into the 2021 tournament with hopes of being in the mix for a gold medal. Instead, the COVID-depleted roster stumbled through the preliminary round and had a difficult time producing offense before losing to archrival Finland in the quarterfinal en route to a fifth-place finish. All Olausson could do in that final game was watch from the bench in frustration.

He played just over four minutes in the Swedes’ quarterfinal loss. “I’m one year older and one year stronger,” said the 19-year-old winger. “I didn’t play so much. I want to get points and score goals out there, and it’s hard to do that with that ice time.”

Things took a definite turn for the better after the WJC. First, after Colorado selected Olausson 28th overall in July’s NHL draft, he inked an entry-level deal with the club in August. Then – with his HV71 club team relegated from the SHL to the second-tier Allsvenskan for the 2021-22 season – Olausson signed with OHL Barrie after the Colts chose him in the CHL import draft.

That decision to bring his game to North America was working out wonderfully early in the season. After scoring twice in the NHL pre-season and giving the Avalanche something to ponder, Olausson departed for Barrie, where he put up 10 goals and 18 points in 14 games. He also set a Colts franchise record for the fastest goal to start a game when he scored 10 seconds into a contest against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in October. Of the 14 games he had played, he had at least a point in 13 of them. “It was a good move for me to get ready for the NHL,” Olausson said. “It gives me a chance to get used to the NHL-sized ice and improve my English. It was my choice to come, but Colorado is a good team and they want my best.”

All of it adds up to a much more confident and assertive Olausson for Team Sweden. He’ll have already adjusted to the smaller ice when he steps foot in Edmonton, allowing him to further exploit his dangerous shot. “My plan is to have a bigger role and have a nice tournament,” Olausson said. “And maybe win it.”  



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