Don Fulton caught up with Kings prospect Oscar Moller, who recently completed his season with Chiliwack of the WHL. We’ll also have a practice report this afternoon…
Nineteen year-old Oscar Moller was the Kings’ second round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (52nd overall), and is coming off a monster season with the Western Hockey League’s Chiliwack Bruins. In his second season with the club, the right winger lead the team with 39 goals (good for 7th in the WHL), and was second on the team in scoring with 82 points (10th in the WHL).
Of those 39 goals, Moller tallied an incredible 10 in a 14-game span in October when he was named the Bruins’ player of the month.
The team finished with a disappointing 27-35-4 record after coming out and winning 10 of its first 15 games. The Bruins were eliminated in four games in its first round WHL series with the Vancouver Giants this past week. Moller had two goals and three points in the four games.
Moller had a few minutes to talk about the season and his development before he headed back home to Sweden for a few weeks.
Oscar Moller Q&A
Question: Tough regular season Oscar?
Moller: We started off pretty good and were one of the top teams in the beginning, but then we had our ups and downs. We finished up with a bad road trip, but after that we stepped up our game a little.
Question: Then the Bruins got swept in a quick four games by Vancouver. What happened in that series?
Moller: It actually could have been 4-0 for us because all of the games were so close, they were all one-goal games, and we had some goals disallowed, so it was really close.
Question: Did the team learn some lessons from the post season?
Moller: I think we definitely learned a lot. I think we just learned that we have to come out to play our best game every night, work hard and be tenacious on the fore-check and be more disciplined. That is the type of game we have to play to win games.
Question: Talk about your game overall and how things improved for you this season.
Moller: I feel like I improved my skating game a lot this season. I think I got a little quicker. I worked on my shot quite a bit too, but a lot of the improvement just comes naturally over time as I grow and get stronger.
Question: I know there is a bit more of a physical edge to your game that is not always common in European players. Did that evolve even more this season with the Bruins?
Moller: That is probably one of the biggest reasons why I came to play over here because I play more like a North American player. It gave me a chance to develop that part of my game even more.
Question: Cycling the puck down low seems to be a big part of your possession game.
Moller: That is absolutely a main part of my game. It is something that I try and do almost every time I step out onto the ice. I just try and make it a part of the play and obviously I like to shoot the puck a lot.
Question: Did the Kings check up on you a lot during the course of the season?
Moller: They came out quite a bit, I think I had contact with them at least five times during the season. We talked a lot and I e-mailed with the trainer who sent me some stuff to do. The trainer sent me some workouts and some tips on keeping my body in shape and feeling good throughout the season.
Question: Who else did you speak with during the season?
Moller: I met with Mr. Lombardi a few times. We talked about how my game is progressing and how I can improve different areas and what it takes to score more goals and stuff like that.
Question: So what happens in the off season for you now? Do you get some time to rest or do you go immediately into workout mode?
Moller: I’m going to go home to Sweden very soon and probably relax for a few weeks and catch up with my friends and family, and then after that I will train for most of the summer.
Question: If you had to project, when do you feel you will be ready for the NHL?
Moller: I definitely have another year with the Bruins next season, and obviously I’d like to be in the NHL as soon as possible, but it’s up to the organization. I know we don’t want to rush anything, and I want to mature, and improve my skating, quickness and overall strength.
Question: Is the Kings’ prospects camp in your plans for the off season?
Moller: I’ll definitely be there in July. It was a new experience for me last year, but it was fun being around the other guys in the organization, and because there are really high standards, I just really enjoyed that week. It is a world class organization.