June 22, 2009

Top ranked goalie to Canada next season?

Swedish goalie Robin Lehner is ranked first among European goaltenders in the CSB Final Rankings for the 2009 NHL Draft. He has spent the season in the top U20 league in Sweden with Frölunda and also was one of Sweden's goalies in the U18 World Championship this spring.

He is now looking at taking the next step in his career, which he talks about in an article at Hockeysverige.se. Frölunda's SEL team already got Johan Holmqvist in goal as the clear starter though, so he doesn't think a backup role with very limited ice time would be good for his development.

Is playing on Frölunda's U20 team not an option?
- Ever since I came to Frölunda, I have taken a new step every season: U16, J18, J20. It's really fun to play J20 hockey, but I still want to take a step forward and CHL is the best junior league in world. To play in front of sold-out arenas in Canada would be cool. In J20 you play in front of 25 people in Wallenstamhallen.

Is it the QMJHL, OHL or WHL that entices you?
- I guess it's the WHL I'm aiming for the most. I played an offensive-minded hockey that flings back and forth with Frölunda for three years now. QMJHL is a little bit the same, a very offensive-minded league. WHL has good hockey both defensively and offensively, there will be good games there. Plus there are long bus rides to tough away games that make you well prepared for life over there.

Lehner hasn't counted out the possibility to play for Frölunda next season though and will have a meeting with Frölunda GM Kent Norberg soon. Being loaned out to a team in HockeyAllsvenskan is another option he is open to.

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