Hanna Thuvik completed her first SDHL season with the close of 2018-19, but her best is yet to come. The native of Skärhamn, Sweden, who turned 17 years old in May 2019, played her first season for Göteborg HC alongside some players who are nearly 10 years her senior.
Göteborg won only a single game in regulation all season long, which made it a difficult year for all of the team’s players. Nevertheless, Thuvik – even at her young age – was one of the top performers on the squad.
“I would describe it as a tough year with many losses,” Thuvik told THW, “but I think the team developed during the season. For my part, it has gone well. It was an educational season that I have come (into growth) more and more. It took some (games) to get into the right pace. But I have felt a development in my game on the ice and also as a person.”
Thuvik spoke one-on-one with THW to further reflect on how her rookie SDHL campaign progressed, and how she has grown because of it. More importantly, she spoke to what lies ahead in 2019-20.
A Solid U18 Performance in Japan
When the 2019 IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship was held in Obihiro, Japan, Thuvik was one of the players who helped Sweden to a fifth place finish. While she and her fellow countrywomen would have wanted a better outcome than what took ultimately shape, Thuvik still put forth a solid performance for the Swedes.
She played in all five tournament games, coming away with a goal and an assist. Thuvik’s goal came in a very tight 3-2 overtime loss to Finland in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, her lone assist guaranteed Sweden’s finishing spot, as she helped set up Lova Blom’s game-winner against Switzerland in the fifth place game.
“I would say that I am an all-round player,” Thuvik said when asked to describe her playing style, “who can be both offensive and defensive. A player who works hard all over the ice, and wants to participate and decide games.”
Given her age, Thuvik will likely be tapped again to compete for Sweden when the 2020 Women’s U18 is held in Slovakia. While the country has been established for the 2020 tourney, the city and dates have not been determined yet at the time of Thuvik’s interview.
Göteborg Needed Thuvik’s Performance
Thuvik’s reliable play in Japan would also be indicative of Göteborg’s need for her during 2018-19 SDHL campaign. She would be one of only two players to play in all 36 games. In the process, she finished third in scoring on the team with four goals and six assists.
Thuvik’s four tallies accounted for nearly 13-percent of Göteborg’s 31 total goals. Suffice it to say that her scoring was desperately needed for a team struggling to find offense. But Thuvik feels that in the seasons ahead she is capable of scoring even more and having a larger impact.
“I really hope I can improve my scoring production,” she said when asked about the upcoming 2019-20 season. “And I really feel that I have the capacity to do that.”
What is nice from a team standpoint is that Thuvik does not need to bear Göteborg’s challenges on her shoulders alone. More veteran teammates supported her all season.
For example, 26-year-old British goaltender Nicole Jackson saw the bulk of the netminding duties for the squad. Anna Borgfeldt, also 26, finished tied for first in points for Göteborg and has been playing in the SDHL since the 2007-08 season. Borgfeldt played NCAA hockey for Quinnipiac University for three seasons too.
Asked how players like Jackson and Borgfeldt assisted in her development, Thuvik responded:
“They help me and show me the way every day. They struggle hard and work a lot to be where they are today. I’m just trying to see and learn from them, and follow them.”
How Will 2019-20 Go for Göteborg?
One of the added benefits that Göteborg must feel from having Thuvik in their lineup is her versatility. She is capable of playing all three forward positions if called upon to do so.
“I have played center since I was a kid,” Thuvik explained. “But when I have come up in the SDHL, I have started playing wing. Now I feel most comfortable at the wing position, but also jump in as a center sometimes.”
Thuvik is one of multiple forwards that Göteborg uses interchangeably in that respect. Standing at 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds, she is a lefty shooter who works well down low around the net.
While they may have finished at the bottom of the SDHL standings, Göteborg is a very tightly knit team. They are much beloved by their community, and take part in local events. For example, as The Ice Garden’s Meredith Foster shared, members of Göteborg’s hockey teams, staff, and front office marched in the West Pride event together on Jun. 15.
Though Göteborg may very well be loved, they also want to win hockey games. That is something that players like Thuvik and her counterparts want to bring to fruition next time around.
Already envisioning how she and her teammates will take on 2019-20, Thuvik is primed to face the perceived challenges that the team will encounter on the ice. That being said, she is wanting to do her part in ironing out any rough patches. With an SDHL season already under her belt, Thuvik is now one of the leaders for Göteborg.
“Next season I look forward to meeting the team and meeting the new players that hopefully will be added”, she stated. ” I look forward to the tough and smooth matches. These are the matches that are the most fun to play, and if we can win them, I think we can get farther this season.’
General Manager of the Buffalo Beauts (NWHL). Hockey history writer “The Hockey Writers”. Credentialed media for the NHL Combine and 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY, USA. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Lifelong hockey fan for over 40 years. Proponent of the women’s game.