Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A donut with no hole is a Danish

Cinderella story, out of nowhere, former greenskeeper-- now, about to become the Masters Champion
Frans Nielsen skating for Timrå last season

New York Islanders prospect Frans Nielsen is bidding to become the first Danish-born player in the NHL, and his path to the bigs may lead through Connecticut and a stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

From an article by the Connecticut Post's Michael Fornabaio, 7/11/06:

Make a list of the world's hockey powers, and Denmark isn't near the top. A Danish player has never yet appeared in the NHL.

Frans Nielsen, a centerman out of Herning, Denmark, hopes to change both of those soon.

"We have a goal to be in the top 10 in the world in the next five years," said Nielsen, a 2002 New York Islanders draft pick who skated Monday at the team's prospects camp.

Nielsen, 22, was one of several players at the camp who could be ticketed for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Whether he plays for New York or Bridgeport, he will add skill to his lineup.

"The new rules are perfect for me, too," Nielsen said, because his strengths are "definitely with the puck, and skating."

Nielsen has played the past five seasons in Sweden's top league. In the past two IIHF World Championships, he has scored three goals for Denmark.

Adding strength to his 6-foot, 180-pound frame was one of his main goals over the past season, and he worked hard in the weight room to do that. Now, he feels he's ready for North America.

"I've been thinking about it the last couple of years. I'm ready," said Nielsen, who had 18 points for Timrå in Sweden last season. "I thought I had a pretty good year this year. Good enough. That's why I did it."

He signed a contract in May and arrived in New York for a weeklong camp with other young players. Many were recent draft picks; only a few are even eligible to come to Bridgeport, though several of last year's Sound Tigers were at Iceworks on Monday.

"It was pretty tough," Nielsen said.

Oh, uh, there won't be any money-- but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice
Nielsen getting pastried by Ronnie Sundin (ex-Wolf Pack, '97-'98)

From Nielsen's prospect profile on Hockey's Future:

Nielsen is a very good skater with great quickness and nice soft hands. He is a phenomenal playmaker and possesses great sense and passion for the game. He also has a solid shot which he uses in every possible situation. He is very aware of his duties as a center and he seems to enjoy playing defense.

I've got one question: If Nielsen ends up having a "cup of coffee" (brief stay) in the NHL, will the phrase from then on become, "He had a cup of coffee and a Danish"?