The San Jose Sharks welcomes back to the organization Niklas Sundstrom as the European scout. Sundstrom spent four years as a member of the team back in the 2000’s and transitioned to playing in Sweden for the remainder of his playing career. He will now take on a role as scouting some of the amazing players who play in Europe.
While with the Sharks, Sundstrom played on what was called the “top third line” in hockey with linemates Mike Ricci and Scott Thorton. When asked if he had fond memories of those days, he joked about it being the top line, not the top third line and then stated, “Yeah it was great memories. One of my best times in my career. I had a lot of fun and I enjoyed playing with those guys.”
With the franchise focusing on younger players to lead the team, scouting will take a key role in the near future. Although expecting it to be hard work, Sundstrom is excited to dive into all the European leagues to find the best players out there. With his experience throughout the Swedish leagues, you can expect to see some Swedes coming over to San Jose in the next few years.
Much of the European ice is bigger and that is a key component when scouting overseas. Sundstrom is not concerned, as he says he focuses on the head and mindset of players as the top skill. Next will come the adjustment to a smaller ice surface. “You have to be more alert; everything happens faster,” Sundstrom said. “If you’re good enough it’s going to be a lot more fun playing here too.”