Urbom hoping to take next step

Tuesday, 07.13.2010 / 4:13 PM ET / Features
By Eric Marin
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Urbom hoping to take next step
Alexander Urbom
One of John MacLean’s first-day impressions of rookie camp was the towering size of the Devils’ defensive prospects. Among them is 6-4, 215-lb. blueliner Alexander Urbom, who hopes to get a crack at the NHL this season.
“I hope so,” Urbom said when asked if he’s ready to make the jump. “I’ll work as hard as I can.”
Selected with the Devils’ third choice, 73rd overall, in 2009, Urbom got a long look at last year’s training camp. The Stockholm native spent the 2009-10 season in North America, posting 12 goals and 21 assists in 66 games as a rookie with Brandon (WHL). He added four goals, three assists in 15 playoff games, then appeared in the Memorial Cup with the host Wheat Kings, tallying one goal and one assist in five appearances.
“It was great,” he said. “It was fun. It was great hockey; it was a great year. I played in the Memorial Cup – it was awesome.”
Urbom, 19, is one of three highly-regarded Swedish prospects in the Devils’ system. Come September, fellow Swedes Jacob Josefson, a center, and Mattias Tedenby, a left wing, are also expected to contend for roster spots in New Jersey.
They’ll be joined by veteran Swedish defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who was signed as a free agent from Buffalo on July 1. Devils’ President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello has said he hopes Tallinder can mentor Urbom as he did Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers, who won the Calder Trophy last season as rookie of the year.
“I don’t know him, but I heard he’s a good guy and he’s a Swede,” Urbom said of Tallinder, who has eight seasons of NHL experience.
“The country’s a little different and I think it’s more outside the rink, someone to help here and speak Swedish,” Urbom added. “Of course it’s good to have a good defenseman who talks your language. I think it’s very good.”
Having made the adjustment from Djurgardens (Swe.) to Brandon last season, Urbom shrugged off differences in playing styles.
“It’s a smaller rink and of course the hockey’s different,” he said. “It’s great hockey and I like to play over here.”
Last year’s training camp was a boon for Urbom’s NHL dream, and now he’s looking forward to taking the next step.
“I don’t really think about last year,” he said. “I just try to do my best every time I’m on the ice. Of course it’s a good experience to practice with all the NHL players last year.”