From an irrelevant 21st in 2004 to 11th in 2009. Norway has been one of the fastest climbers in the world hockey rankings. While most rising hockey nations do it usually on the back of 1 or 2 star NHLers, Norway has not had that luck. Sure Ole Tollefsen is there, but his role is mainly fighter. Anders Myrvold dabbled in the NHL for a bit, but never really stuck. Patrick Thoresen & his career 106 NHL games is by far the teams most notable NHL player offensively still playing. The team wont have probably the most famous Norwegian hockey player, former NHL mainstay Espen Knutsen there as he has since retired from hockey.
This is the countries first voyage into the Olympics since 1994 where they finished 11th. The country has never done better than 8th. They wont be here looking to win a medal, they are looking here to simply improve on the inroads they have made in the world rankings lately & hope not to take any steps back.
Ruben Smith- STORHAMER DRAGOS (NORWAY)- The difference between Smith & Grotness is quite minimal when you look at their stats in their homeland of Norway. In international play Grotnes has generally had the edge as the starter. This might still be the case this Olympics, but these two are likely going to split the duties somewhat.
Pal Grotnes- STJERNEN HOCKEY (NORWAY)- For the past few years he has been Norways #1 goalie at international tournies. He may still be that these Olympics. At worst, he'll be the back up as the challenge for the 3rd spot is minimal.
Lars Haugen- LøRENSKOG IK (NORWAY)- With recent international 3rd stringer Lysenstoen, seeming to have taken a step back by going to a 2nd tier Finnish league, Haugen steps into the spot by almost default. There are a few Norse goalies in the Norwegian league, but Lars statistically is probably the best & has the most games played this season of them. Lysenstoen might get this spot if the team values his 2nd tier Finnish play over their own countries league.
Mats Trygg- COLOGNE SHARKS (DEL) Despite the NHLaccomplishments of Myrvold & Tollefsen, Mats is by many back home, considered Norways top defenseman.
Anders Myrvold- STJERNEN HOCKEY (NORWAY)- With Mats off in Germany, Anders Myrvold, a former NHLer for a bit, is generally considered the top Norwegian defeseman in Norway. Although offensively hes having an average year, he is still a lock to be in the top 4 on this team.
Ole Kristian Tollefsen- COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (NHL)- By default of being in the NHL, despite his role not being an Olympic asset, Ole is a lock to make the team. This tournament could help him develop his game somewhat as he will be depended on to do other things beside be tough.
Jonas Holos- FARJESTADS BK KARLSBAD (SEL)- Having a decent year in a league that is above the Norwegian league makes Jonas nearly a lock for this team.
Tommy Jakobsen- LORENSKOG IK (NORWAY)- At 39 this is Tommys last run at international play. He has the most international games played for Norway. He has had a long & relatively successful career around Europe, mostly in Germany, but has finally come to Norway to play in the Norwegian league.
Alexander Bonsaksen- MODO (SEL)- After some time in Norway, Alex has moved up to the Swedish league & will probably get more of a chance as a number 6 dman than the others purely based on his higher league level of play.
Lars Erik Lund- VALERENGA ISHOCKEY (NORWAY)- One of the top scoring defensemen in Norway, Lars Erik is going to likely make the team, but his defensive stats might keep him off the permanant roster.
Lars L Ostli- STORHAMER DRAGONS (NORWAY)- The top scoring Norwegian defenseman this season. Offensively talented. Unsure about defensive game.
Patrick Thoresen- UFA SALAVAT UFAYEV (KHL)- The only Norwegian forward with any NHL experience currently, Patrick has been tearing up the KHL this season, with a more than a pt per game pace, he is becoming Norways most lethal weapon. Expect some offensive flair from this former NHLer.
Tore Vikingstad- HANNOVER SCORPIONS (DEL). Former German league scoring champion Tore Vikingstad is still doing it in the DEL. Leading his team in pts so far this season, Tore is an uncontested lock to be 1st line winger, whether its left or right.
Per-Age Skroder- MODO HOCKEY ORNSKOLDSVIK (SEL). Last years goals & points leader in the SEL, Per will be expected to contribute big offensive minutes with his season linemate & countryman Mats Zuccarello Aasen.
Mats Zuccarello Aasen- MODO HOCKEY ORNSKOLDSVIK (SEL)- With Swede Nik Sundstrom out of the line up on Modo right now, Mats has shone. Taking the teams lead in points over from his countryman & linemate Per Age Skroder. These two will be expected to perform the same magic for their country in Vancouver.
Morten Ask- NUEREMBERG THOMAS SABO ICE TIGERS (DEL). With a bit of an offensive flair & a tough streak, Morten will be likely expected to play hard on both ends of the ice & likely will be able to do it.
Eirik Skadsdammen- STORHAMAR DRAGONS (NORWAY). Last season Eirik started showing an offensive touch. This year he has continued that upward climb, making his way into the top 10 scorers in the Norwegian league. Peaking at the right time.
Mads Hansen- BRYNAS IF GAVLE (SEL). Mads will get a fair bit of checking line time. Has some offensive flair as well, but he wont be getting a lot of ice time to show it.
Lars Erik Spets- VALERENGA ISHOCKEY (NORWAY)- The Spets brothers might be offensive stars in the Norwegian league, but they will get on the Olympic team if they can play defensively as well. Their +16 & +25 this season suggest they can.
Knut Henrik Spets- VALERENGA ISHOCKEY (NORWAY)- He will be along for the ride with Lars.
Mathis Olimb- VASTRA FROLUNDA HC GOTENBORG (SEL). Having a good year in Sweden. Has improved each season since leaving North Americas junior hockey circiut.
Pal Johnsen- STORHAMAR DRAGONS (NORWAY). League leader in assists, 2nd in pts. Pal has done everything he can to get noticed for the team. With lots of offense from players playing abroad he might have some challenges getting quality minutes, but he'll be there.
Martin Roymark- VASTRA FROLUNDA HC GOTENBORG (SEL)- Will be expected to contribute defensively.
Anders Bastiansen- FARJESTADS BK KARLSBAD (SEL)- Likely wont see a lot of minutes, but will be expected to play a sound defensive game when he is in.
maybes- Andre Lysenstoen, Christopher Henriksen, Jonas Solberg Andersen, Marius Holtet, Anders Fredriksen, Peter Lorentzen, Kristian Forsberg, Joakim Eidsæther.
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