Hurricanes defenceman Albin Blomqvist will be playing with his younger brother when the new Western Hockey League season gets underway in a couple of months.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes selected forward Axel Blomqvist with the 17th overall pick in the 2012 CHL Import Draft Wednesday. Blomqvist is a big player, 6 foot 5 and 200 pounds and will certainly add some much-needed size up front for this team.
In 20 games in the U-18 Swedish Elite League last season, Blomqvist has 19 goals, 12 assists for 31 points.
I spoke with Head Coach and GM Rich Preston after he made the pick:
Preston: "I've seen some of tape of Axel. He's a really good skater for that size and at 16 years old. The Swedish Under 18 Elite League mostly consists of 94 born players. I looked at it the other day, Axel was the 2nd or 3rd leading scorer among 95 born players in that league last season. The Blomqvist family has 5 boys and they are very excited to have Albin and Axel playing together in the WHL. The brothers and very tight. We were keeping our fingers crossed that we would get him at number 17. The big thing for us is that it gives us size which we can use up front. He's also a 95 born player, which really fits into out high-end age group of 94's, 95's, and 96's. You don't have to worry about the language barrier with Swedes either and I think the transition having his brother playing here will be a lot easier for him."