LOS ANGELES -- David Rundblad woke up early Saturday morning at his home in Sweden with a cellphone nearly full of messages.
The 19-year-old defenceman was happy to be selected No. 17 overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2009 NHL entry draft in Montreal, but he was taken by surprise when he was traded to the Senators on Friday night.
For the first time in team history, the Senators dealt away their top pick in the draft (No. 16 overall) to pick up Rundblad from the Blues. Nobody was more shocked by the news than the young Swede.
Rundblad is expected to arrive in Ottawa this week in time for the club’s prospect development camp. He is signed to play in Sweden next year and will play there before coming overseas next summer.
“I was surprised. I woke up this morning and I had a lot of messages and phone calls. I didn’t have any idea that St. Louis wanted to trade me so it caught me by surprise,” said Rundblad.
The Senators wanted a specific group of players after visiting with five prospects. They weren’t able to get any of them. The club eyed a forward, but also liked blueliner Derek Forbort, who went No. 15 to the Kings.
That’s when the decision was made to deal the pick by GM Bryan Murray, assistant GM Tim Murray and chief scout Pierre Dorion. The Senators wanted a player who can make an impact 12 months down the road.
“We looked at the list and they were all gone,” said Dorion. “We aren’t going to have to wait two or three years for this player. We feel that he’s going to be ready to play in the NHL next year.”
He will play for Senators scout Anders Forsberg, who wrapped up his career with Ottawa at the draft to take over coaching duties next year with Rundblad's Swedish team Skelleftea. Forsberg has a good relationship with Rundblad and will encourage his development.
“I’ve talked to him and I’m looking forward to having him as a coach,” said Rundblad. “I know that he’s a really good coach and he told me that I’m going to be playing a lot. I’m going to get a lot of power play time and I’m just hoping to do well this year.”
Forsberg said Rundblad was initially taken aback.
“He was shocked. He didn’t know anything about the trade,” said Forsberg. “This morning when I spoke to him he was really glad and really looking forward to coming to Ottawa.
“I told him it’s a good situation for him to come to Canada with the fans and everything.”
Rundblad had 1-12-13 points in 47 games with Skelleftea last season.
The Swede also has experience with Ottawa blueliner Erik Karlsson. The duo played together in the world junior championships two years ago.
Rundblad said before being selected by the Blues he likes to model his game after Washington’s Mike Green, who was a runner-up for the Norris Trophy.
“It’s not exactly the way I play, but I like the way Mike Green plays in Washington,” Rundblad said. “I’m not sure if I am his style, but I like watching him.”
One message on his phone was from Jakob Silfverberg, a Swede selected in Round 2 (No. 39 overall) by the Senators last year.
Rundblad is excited about the opportunity to play for the Ottawa organization.
“I play like Erik Karlsson. I’m an offensive defenceman and I’m good with the puck,” he said.