International Ice Hockey Federation

Hoping for quarters

Hoping for quarters

Ehlers joins to help Denmark

Published 03.05.2016 23:12 GMT+3 | Author Juraj Hudak
Hoping for quarters
Nikolaj Ehlers during the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Denmark hopes to make the World Championship quarter-finals. One reason it could do so is Nikolaj Ehlers, who joined after his rookie season in the NHL.

Winnipeg’s first-round pick of 2014 (9th overall) will play his first World Championship with Denmark’s senior national team after having represented the country in U20 and U18 World Championships before.

What is your main goal for World Championship in Russia?
Definitely the quarter-finals. We want to get that far and play our game. We have a lot of potential even with these young players. I think this year we can do something great and I am looking forward to it.

Are you satisfied with the preparation?
I only played three games because I came from overseas. But I think we had a good third period and two first periods in two last games against Slovakia. We have some good things that we can build on. Hopefully they´ll take us to quarter-finals.

You came from the NHL. How do you feel now on the Danish national team?
Very good. The teammates don't treat me differently. I’m a hockey player like every other and I’m their good friend. It's been great so far and I’m excited to be here with all these guys.

Are you going to be a leader?
Well, that's what I want to be. I want to be a guy who plays a lot as a key player but that is something what I still need to work on as well.

You just finished your first season in the NHL. Did you dream come true?
Yeah. It's every little boy’s dream to play in the NHL. I was a young guy when I made it and it's been unbelievable and exciting. But still I have some goals that I want to reach. I want to play all the time and be a player that plays for the top-six for the next ten years and that's something that I have to work for.

Does Winnipeg give good opportunities to young players?
Yes. We have a lot of good young players. They came up from the juniors and the AHL so there are many fresh and young guys who made the team. We are a young team and we learn a lot. Our season wasn't very good but we found out what we can build on for the next season.

Do you think the playoffs can realistically be reached next time?
I do. We have a good team and I really believe that we can do that soon.

 

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