The education of Pontus Åberg continues in earnest.
For starters, Åberg names two current NHL players as his role models and inspiration.
"I really like Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos," Åberg says of the respective Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning stars. "They do a lot of skating and take lots of shots at the opponents' net. That's the kind of hockey I like and try to play."
The 18-year-old winger has begun his season in Sweden with a splash. After 19 games with Djurgården in the Elite League he already has racked up 10 points, five of them goals. The speedy Åberg is the best goal scorer on his team, and he is one of just five players with a positive plus/minus.
"Playing in the Elite League is very positive for my development," says Åberg. "Every game means a challenge. Your opponents are tougher in all aspects of the game, and you have to be constantly on your toes."
Scouts who have followed Åberg the past three seasons have their reports filled with very similar observations:
"A speedy and unconventional talent who knows how to find his way through traffic."
"He seems to have a natural instinct when it comes to finding solutions even when his speed seems to be almost too much for himself. He has a quick and accurate release when firing the puck to the net and he is very creative in one-on-one situations."
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