'Surprised' Rundblad eager for future with Sens
Swedish blueliner didn't expect draft-day trade that brought him to Ottawa
It was anything but expected.
The 19-year-old blueliner had gone to bed Friday night as a member of the St. Louis Blues, the team that chose him 17th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. But as he slept in across the pond in Sweden, Rundblad was dealt to the Ottawa Senators for the 16th pick in the 2010 draft in Los Angeles.
"Big surprise," Rundblad said earlier today from his hometown of Lycksele. "I woke up this morning and I had a lot of messages and phone calls saying St. Louis had traded me. It was a big surprise."
Especially given the fact that, just two weeks ago, the Blues announced they'd signed Rundblad to an entry-level contact. At that point, he seemed to clearly be a part of the future in St. Louis. Now he'll shift his sights to Ottawa and a future reunion with Erik Karlsson, his teammate on the Swedish blue line at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The Tre Kronor won the silver medal at Scotiabank Place that year.
"We played with each other on some national teams. He’s a Swede, so I will talk to him," said Rundblad, who spoke earlier today with another fellow Swede, Jakob Silfverberg, a second-round selection by the Senators in the 2009 draft. "I talked to him a little bit. He's in Ottawa now (for the Sens' annual development camp, which begins Tuesday)."
Rundblad also figures to get even more familiar with Ottawa scout Anders Forsberg, who is giving up his position to take over coaching duties with Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League next season. He'll have Rundblad on his blue line there, as the Senators plan to leave the offensively-gifted blueliner there for another season, with an eye toward him joining their roster in 2011-12.
Forsberg helped assure Rundblad that he'll be a good fit for the Senators' future.
"The first reaction last night was he was in shock over the trade, having been in St. Louis (for training earlier this month) and everything," said Forsberg. "This morning, when I talked to him, he was really good and looking forward to (the move). I told him he was a good thing for him to come to Canada. It’s a good club in Canada with the fans and everything. So he was really happy about it."
Added Rundblad: "I think it’s a good organization. Karlsson seems to like being there and they’ve drafted some other young Swedes. I’ve seen (Senators captain) Daniel Alfredsson. He’s a big guy in Sweden and Ottawa, too. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s a good team for play for (in the future)."