The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars now have their full Swedish core assembled as goaltender, Anton Svensson arrived in Dundee to link up with his new teammates and fellow Swedes.

By Kris Smith

Svensson will be joining fellow Stars, Hugo Reinhardt, Erik Näslund and Romans Semjonovs as the quartet adjust to life in Scotland and the Elite League style of hockey.

All four players bring different backgrounds and experiences to the team and have crossed paths throughout their careers, but they are also happy to have a little bit of a home comfort within their new Swedish teammates.

Forward Hugo Reinhardt started off by sharing his first impressions of the club and the city so far.

He said: “I am super happy and excited to be here, it is a great setup, everybody is treating me well and it was great to see the fans at the weekend and getting right into and enjoying it.”

The centerman from Kungsbacka then expressed his delight about being around some fellow Swedes this season.

Hugo added: “It is always nice having some Swedes around but I am also comfortable around Americans and Canadians too because I played over there.

“Although, it is always good to have some other Swedes that you can talk to and because we have the same culture and everything like that.

“I also played with Romans last year too and we got to know each other, so it is good to have someone here I know as well and that we are comfortable with each other.”

 

Hugo Reinhardt focuses ahead of his home debut at the DIA. (Picture: Derek Black).

 

The 26-year-old also compared how he has found his first experience of the Elite League to his previous time in both Sweden and North America.

Reinhardt added: “I think it is very similar to what I have played in the past.

“It is a mix of both because the players in this league come from both North America and Europe and that shows, the game is very structured here.

“Jeff coaches a fast game and that is the way most leagues play now, they want to be fast, quick and get the puck up as quick as possible and protect possession.

“So, I think this league is very similar to the ones I have played in before.

“Over in North America, it is smaller rinks which is a bit different, but I have played on the bigger ice sheets for two years now and when I played juniors back in Sweden, so it is definitely a bit different from that standpoint, but I am looking forward to the season.”

Former Fife Flyers, defenseman Erik Näslund then gave his take on his first 10 days in the City of Discovery and he said: “It has been really good, we have been treated really well since the first day and we had a good week of practice last week.

“Unfortunately, we had two losses at the weekend but it felt like we got better and better every period.”

The native of Umea then compared his experiences from last season with the start the Stars have made to this campaign and also how the game differs to his time playing back in his homeland.

Erik explained: “I would say it is pretty similar, they are both two young teams, compared to last year and I think we started on a higher level this season, by getting into the systems and how we are supposed to play, this early.

“So, if we just adapt to that and I think we will, then I am confident it will be a great year for us.”

He continued: “It is more structured in Sweden but the tempo is really good.

“If I compare it to the third league in Sweden, which is where I played, then this league is more physical and you play against bigger guys, so you have to prepare for that.”

 

Erik Näslund makes a physical start to the season in Belfast. (Picture: William Cherry/Presseye).

 

Finally, Näslund also shared his delight at having some fellow Swedes on the team this year, adding: “It is nice to have a few other Swedes in the team.

“I had one other Swede that helped me out last year in Fife, in Jonas Emmerdahl and he helped me out a lot because he had been in the league before.

“So, it is always nice to have other guys to talk Swedish too and if someone does not understand something then we can help each other out.”

Finally, winger, Romans Semjonovs also expressed his happiness to be surrounded by other Swedes here in Dundee.

He said: “It is really easy to have three other Swedes here and makes it easier to do things and if I do not understand something then I can ask one of the other guys.”

The Latvian-born, Swede joined the club after spending all of his career in Scandinavia so far and gave his first impression on how the British game compared to the Swedish.

Romans explained: “Maybe in Sweden it is more defensively structured and there is maybe not as many odd-man rushes all the time, but the tempo is pretty similar to Sweden.”

 

 

Romans Semjonovs celebrates with the Stars bench after scoring the first Stars goal in Belfast. (Picture: William Cherry/Presseye).

The 28-year-old then continued by sharing what he has seen so far through the first weeks of training camp, adding: “Of course, I like the team and how everyone is playing.

“I have only been on the ice four times for practice since I got here but you can see everyone is getting better and better every day.”

 

The thoughts of latest arrival, Anton Svensson will be coming in the next few days once he has settled into the team and the city, so keep a look out for his first interview and make sure you do not miss his possible home debut this Sunday against Fife Flyers.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
37 Games
9 Wins
24 Losses
4 OT Losses
22 Points