When the Nashville Predators drafted Viktor Arvidsson 112th overall (4th round) at the 2014 draft, there was a sense of relief from the 21-year old. After all, he has been waiting for this moment for 4 years. Many believe his 5’9, 172lbs frame had something to do with it. Nashville decided to take a gamble on him, while other teams overlooked him.
Arvidsson is most known for his quickness, hands, hockey sense and hard-work. He honed everything at once last season scoring 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 50 games with Skelleftea in the Swedish Hockey League. With a full season under his belt playing against men, Arvidsson wants to reach the next step. His ambition is to not return to Skelleftea next season, as expected, but rather don the gold and blue at Bridgestone Arena.
The Hockey Writers caught up with Arvidsson in the locker room after development camp to discuss his career and ambitious goals.
The Hockey Writers: How does it feel to finally be drafted after 4 years of being passed over?
Viktor Arvidsson: It’s a great feeling. I’ve worked hard for this.
THW: Why do you think teams overlooked you even though you won SHL Rookie of the Year in 2013?
Arvidsson: I don’t know. My size maybe? I think I’ve proved I can play against big players, so I don’t think my size matters.
THW: Do you just work harder despite your size?
Arvidsson: Of course. I work really hard back home. I workout 5 times a week — cardio twice a week.
THW: Have you talked to Filip Forsberg since you’ve reunited?
Arvidsson: Yeah, we were good buddies back from the World Juniors and stuff like that, so I know him very well.
THW: What is your future next year?
Arvidsson: My plan is to play here (Nashville). I’m going to do my best this week and maybe I can come to training camp. So, we’ll see.
THW: What do you need to do to prove to the coaching staff that you can play here next year?
Arvidsson: I don’t know. Just play my best. Come here everyday and do my best and be consistent.
THW: Who do you replicate your game to?
Arvidsson: I like one guy on my team back at home Oscar Moller. He played for the LA Kings. I look up to him and try to take stuff from him.
THW: Do you have a pregame routine?
Arvidsson: Take some coffee, sit with my sticks. I just try to relax and not think about the game and have to focus.