Biggest adjustments for Swedish rooks

Updated: November 18, 2010, 2:09 PM ET
By Lars-Ove Haraldsson

At first glance, you might get the impression that hockey is the same wherever on the planet it's being played. Well, that's not really the case and the diversity and approach to the game in different cultures and countries makes it a never-ending topic for discussion amongst fans, players and coaches.

Fans of the Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils have no doubt heard that topic emerge in relation to Swedish rookies Marcus Johansson, Magnus Paajarvi and Mattias Tedenby. Probably the most discussed aspect is the size difference between European and North American ice surfaces. In truth, the differences run far deeper than rink dimensions.

"We have influences from the North American style and from our opponents in Europe. To have an open mind is essential in hockey as well as life in a bigger picture," says Anders Olsson, head coach with HV71 U-20 in Sweden.

Anders has coached and worked with players such as Tedenby, and prospects Adam Almqvist (Detroit Red Wings), David Ullstrom (New York Islanders) and Andre Pettersson (Ottawa Senators) during his seven-year tenure in the HV71 organization and joined with some other Swedish coaches and players to flag five areas where Swedish schooling diverges from that of North America: