Fabian Brunnstom is Excited about His First NHL Training Camp
Sunday, 09.7.2008 / 9:26 AM CT / Feature
By Dallas Stars Staff
Fabian Brunnstrom’s journey to the National Hockey League has taken that all-important next step. The Swedish forward arrived in Dallas this past week and has begun skating with his new teammates in preparation for Stars Training Camp, which begins on Sept. 19 in Frisco.
Brunnstom is finding everything new, from learning about the area and simply getting his bearings in a new city.
“It’s exciting and new,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. I want to get out and learn a bit about the area and the city. But the guys here have been great and it’s been fun getting to know them.”
Brunnstrom admitted he has enjoyed playing on the smaller ice sheet this week, another adjustment he has to make from the larger ice rinks of the European leagues.
“The game is much faster over here and I think it’s more fun,” Brunnstrom said. “It’s been fun
playing with talented guys like Modano and Zubov and Morrow. This team has a lot of talent.”
A talented player himself, Brunnstrom’s rookie year in the NHL promises to be a fun one to watch. The forward went undrafted but he continued to improve year after year to become one of the hottest free agent commodities for NHL clubs to pursue. The Stars won his signature on a contract in May but it did not come without heavy competition from the likes of Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Anaheim.
“All of the other teams and clubs were good but I just felt that Dallas was a little bit better for me,” he said. “I really enjoyed the town and the people around the Dallas organization. I got a chance to see all of the facilities and I thought everything was great. It was a really hard decision for me but I feel like Dallas is the best fit.”
The late-bloomer scored 37 points (9 goals, 28 assists) in 54 games last season for Farjestads BK Karlstad in the Swedish Elite League. He led the team in assists and placed fifth in scoring.
“I knew when I signed that I would have to work on my entire game,” he said. “The speed of the game and the size of the players will be an adjustment. But I am ready for it and I look forward to it.”
The expectations of Brunnstrom by the media and fans are high but Stars management knows it will take some time for him to adjust and get acclimated to the NHL game.
"We don’t want to put any unfair expectations on him,” said Stars co-GM Les Jackson. “We’ll integrate him into our group and try and ease him in. It will take some time. But Fabian has a lot of talent and will be OK. It will be very interesting to watch. I imagine he’ll improve as the season goes along.”
Brunmstrom will be a part of the Stars crop of players that will participate in the Traverse City Prospects tournament, which is held from Sept. 13-17. The tournament is held every year for several NHL clubs to see their younger prospects compete prior to camp.
“Traverse City is important for Fabian because it will give him four games on the smaller ice sheet and that will help him adjust,” Jackson said. “The camp is mainly for younger guys but we feel it is important to send him and play a few games on the smaller rink. We think it will help him.”
For Brunnstrom, it’s just part of that next step. He’s been waiting his entire life to get the opportunity to play in the NHL. And it’s about to become a reality.
“I am thrilled to finally be here in Dallas preparing for my first NHL camp,” he said. “This is a dream come true for me. I plan on working hard and enjoying it.”