ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild got a look at their first round pick recently.
Filip Johansson, a defenseman from Sweden still a few years away from the NHL, but learning what it takes to get there. WCCO’s Mike Max has more.
Welcome to the world of the Wild. Filip Johansson is now in that world, and he’s being watched. Like first round draft picks are at their first camp, he wants to prove they got it right.
“They believe in me and they see something in me so I will do all I can to make it. If I can just get all the things here and get it in my life back home in Sweden,” Johansson said.
He knows enough about the Wild and the NHL to know he needs to beef up and toughen up to get here.
“I need to be a lot stronger and on the ice get my offensive game,” Johannson said. Puck skills, my shot, that stuff can be improved.”
But he knows what he brings, a smooth-skating defenseman who can slow the game down so he can speed it up.
“I want to make fast plays, both simpler and harder plays,” Johansson said. “I’m just trying to be in the right spot.”
So he works every day, every shift, trying to find a niche, trying to get a little bit better. Trying to improve his game.
“Of course I want to set a good message to the coaching staff and that’s tough,” Johansson said. “Taking all the things back home, work on them every day and I will be home in Sweden this year. Improve my game.”
And with his home in Sweden, he might feel right home in the land of “Skol,” and a whole lot of Scandinavian heritage.
“I heard about that in the history coming here. I think it’s a good time for me to get to. ,” Johansson said.