Forsberg looking for next challenge

Updated: August 8, 2011, 2:11 PM ET
By Lars-Ove Haraldsson

Filip Forsberg is a unique talent garnering NHL interest ahead of the 2012 draft, but there's also something about him that's a little unusual for a Swedish hockey star in the making. "I played baseball for two years when growing up," Forsberg says.

To put baseball's popularity in Sweden in perspective, more than half a million Swedes play soccer while more than 62,000 play hockey. Baseball? Less than 1,000 currently choose to participate in the American game.

But despite dabbling on the diamond, Forsberg decided at an early age that ice hockey would be his number one choice.

"Having a father who played hockey for many years made it a natural choice for me," says Forsberg, who has no relation to the former Colorado Avalanche superstar Peter Forsberg. "I spent a lot of hours at the rink as a kid."

The kid who decided to play hockey has developed into a prospect with a bright future. Experts, insiders, coaches and other players praise the forward for his skills and attitude.

Forsberg is a right-handed shooter playing the left wing, and amassed six goals and four assists across 11 international contests with the Swedish U-18 team last season. Now he projects to be one of the top international players taken in the 2012 NHL entry draft.