How Oskar Sundqvist went from Sweden’s slopes to blocking photographs for the Blues – [Update News]

Earlier than there was hockey, there was snowboarding.

Earlier than he was staring down a shot from Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, he was staring down Sweden’s “Åre” mountain.

Earlier than Oskar Sundqvist grew to become generally known as one of many Blues’ hardest-working gamers, he was tagging alongside together with his father, Anders, a former member of the Swedish nationwide alpine crew.

“I’ve been snowboarding my entire life,” Sundqvist stated. “It’s certainly one of my favourite issues to do. It makes you very blissful — for me not less than.”

The 27-year-old middle would possibly nonetheless be snowboarding in the present day if he hadn’t been bitten by the hockey bug at an early age, too. It’s lucky for the Blues, who received him again within the lineup Tuesday after lacking the primary month of the season recovering from knee and hip surgical procedures. He performed simply 14 shifts in 9:45 of ice time, however he’s again.

The crew has its fearless ahead, who can hint that persona trait again to his childhood, being on the highest of the mountains in Sweden with just one manner down.

“I bear in mind one time … my dad took us down an precise downhill ski slope and that was sort of scary,” Sundqvist stated. “It was simply ice throughout and it was simply straight down. He was laughing whereas we have been nearly crying.”

Anders Sundqvist could not have credited his son a lot then, however he does now.

“Oskar skied quite a bit, and really, he had loads of expertise,” the elder Sundqvist stated lately from Sweden. “He might transfer fairly effectively. I used to be just a little bit impressed at the moment.”

His confidence on the slopes didn’t develop in a single day — very like his NHL profession, which blossomed after a commerce from Pittsburgh in 2017. He went largely undiscussed within the deal that despatched Blues enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Penguins for a first-round choose, which the Blues used on Klim Kostin.