Washington Capitals prospect Oskar Magnusson scored points for Malmö’s U20 team, but he never really got the chance to show himself in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). As a result, he applied to AIK in the HockeyAllsvenskan league in search of more playing time.
“I thought that this would be good for my development and it has turned out that it has been,” said Magnusson to hockeysverige.se. Magnusson was selected by the Capitals in the seventh round, #211 overall.
As a young player, you need to be able to play in order to develop and establish yourself at the next level. In Oskar Magnusson’s case, it meant leaving his home in Skåne and move to Stockholm. After five years in the Malmö Redhawks organization, Magnusson left the club to sign with AIK instead.
“I think it has been great. I have helped the group, but also started playing my hockey in AIK…I have only positive things to say about the start in AIK.”
The 19-year-old forward left Malmö for AIK before this year’s season and then also changed from the SHL to HockeyAllsvenskan, a tier below the SHL.
“There was probably no long dialogue (with Malmö) or anything like that. I felt I needed new adventures and a new team to find new development. I think I made the right decision and I’m happy with the decision I made.”
On the surface, it may seem like a tough decision to leave a club you have spent your entire junior career and the beginning of your senior career with and move far from home. For Oskar Magnusson, however, it was thinking about what was best for his career.
“Once AIK came up, it became quite obvious in fact. Just considering that Anton (Blomqvist) is there as I had him in Malmö. It was quite obvious, you have to think about your own development. I thought this would be good for my development and it has turned out that it has been.”
Magnusson had Anton Blomqvis as a coach for Malmö’s U18 and U20 teams. It was also under Blomqvist’s leadership that Magnusson made his big breakthrough during the 2019-20 season.
“It’s nice to have a little security. I know how he is as a person and as a coach and at the same time he knows how I work on the ice. He gets good qualities out of me on the ice and makes me play my best hockey.”
Magnusson impressed in his U20 season 2019/20 where he recorded 22 goals and 48 points in 38 games, which was ninth in points for the league. Despite the fact that he poured in points at the junior level and earned himself a step up, there were limited opportunities for the SHL team.
In total, he was scratched for 16 games in Malmö’s A-team and averaged about three minutes of ice time.
“Yes, but it was little. I got the chance but maybe not as much as you need to show off. I felt that it was good to go down a division and if you do well there, the possibilities open up about what you can do next.”
Now Magnusson has played 14 games so far. In those games, he’s scored two goals and six points and averages almost 14 minutes of ice time per game.
“It is a good series that has become tighter. There are like no bad teams there now but everyone can beat everyone. It’s a good series and a good league for me to develop as well.”
Before this year’s season with AIK began, the 19-year-old got the chance to go over to the US to participate in Capitals rookie camp. There, Magnusson got a small taste of how everything works in the world’s best hockey league.
“It was cool, I had a dialogue with AIK about if I should go but then we said that as long as I have time to return for the first game, it would be good for me. Damn, how cool it was! To see how they work over there with everything on and off the ice, to meet lots of new people and meet people you talked to on the phone that you have not gotten a face on before. It was very fun. We actually saw when the big guys train once but not more than that. It was cool to see him (Ovechkin) up close and how he works on training.”
Magnusson said he gleaned a lot for the Capitals development camp.
“Experience, mainly. See how they train and what it takes to have a job over there. Lots of experience and it was just a positive experience. They want me to continue working on what I have started to build on. I will try to show that I am really good with the puck when I have it on the stick.”
Magnusson was selected for the Junior Swedish team that recently played in the Four Nations tournament in Ängelholm. The forward, who was born in 2002, never got the chance to play in the U18 World Cup when it was canceled last year.
The Trelleborg citizen is thus extra encouraged to have the chance to show himself internationally at the World Juniors in Canada at the turn of the year.