Oilers add slick Swede

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The fast get faster.

That's what happened when the Oilers took winger Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson with the 10th pick overall at last night's NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.

Paajarvi-Svensson, a six-foot-one, 201-pounder, was rated the fleetest skater entering this year's crapshoot. He impressed while playing for Sweden at the World Juniors in Ottawa, and he scored seven goals and 10 assists in 50 games this season with Timra IK of the Swedish Elite League.

"I just got shaky and started hugging all the people I knew," Paajarvi-Svensson said of being picked by the Oilers. "That was a very proud moment for me and all my family.

"Now I'm coming to a club that (has) very much hockey history with (Mark) Messier, (Wayne) Gretzky and Kent Nilsson. I'm proud to be a part of that organization. I'm pretty shaky right now."

Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini admitted surprise that he was available when he stepped to the podium.

Pre-draft rankings had Paajarvi-Svensson going as high as fourth overall.

"He plays with emotion," said Tambellini. "Watching him in the World Junior (gold medal) game playing against Team Canada, he was maybe one of Sweden's best players. He showed a lot of courage and, maybe more importantly, some poise, to play in a situation like that. Very impressive."

Tambellini said that the Oilers never made a serious attempt to move up in the order and turned down requests for the 10th choice.

"Obviously when Paajarvi-Svensson was still there, there was a lot of calls on the pick. We just don't want to let that pick go by," said Tambellini. "Our people believed that Magnus separated himself from the rest of the group that was there, so it was a very easy decision."

Paajarvi-Svensson uses the surnames of both his parents, who are divorced. At the worlds in Ottawa last Christmas, he created a bit of a flap by saying the Canadians would (poop) their pants if Sweden took an early lead in the gold medal game.

"That was a fun experience," he said. "You learn from everything you do."

Asked if he was ready to play in the NHL right now, Paajarvi-Svensson's eyes widened.

"Yeah, why not?" he said. "I think I am."

Tambellini wouldn't compare Paajarvi-Svensson to any particular player.

"I like the fact he's reckless getting to the net," he said. "He's not a perimeter guy. He's got great speed, great quickness, and he finds a way to get to the net. That really impressed me anyway.

"I don't know if any one person comes to mind. He's just an aggressive player that has above average speed, for sure," the GM added.

"He gets in traffic and gets to the net. That's modern day NHL. Speed is fine, but without getting to the net, it's not as valuable. He generates offensive situations, even if he's not finishing them off."

After playing against a Pat Quinn-coached team at the worlds, Paajarvi-Svensson looks forward to playing for one.

"I don't know about ironic," he said. "When you play the game, you get so intense. Pat Quinn, it's just a great honour to be in the same organization as Pat Quinn. It makes me a little bit shaky because it's such a great name and he's such a good coach. I can't wait to see him."

And Edmonton.

"After playing in Ottawa I wanted to go back to Canada. It's one of the best things I've ever done. In front of all the audience, all the media .... I'm glad to be picked by a Canadian team like the Edmonton Oilers, for sure. I can't hope for a better club."

DON.BRENNAN@SUNMEDIA.CA

---

THE DOSSIER

MAGNUS PAAJARVI-SVENSSON

Position: Left wing

Born: April 12, 1991

Hometown: Norrkoping, Sweden

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 201 lb.

Last season: Spent 08-09 with Timra IK of the Swedish Elite League, where he had seven goals and 17 points, and added a goal in seven playoff games.

Notable: Was the youngest Swede to ever play in the World Juniors when he suited up for Tre Kronor in 2008. He also played for them last Christmas, winning his second straight silver medal. At that 2009 tourney, he was among the scoring leaders with two goals and seven points.


Photos