Patrik Laine is the sensational 18-year-old winger from Finland who will go either first or second in the upcoming NHL Draft (but most likely second, behind Toronto Maple Leafs savior Auston Matthews).
He’s also really growing on us, from his goofball draft lottery night interview that was conducted (we think) in bed using FaceTime to his comments after Finland sent Russia to the bronze medal game on Sunday in St. Petersburg.
“It was really amazing to play against those guys and to win,” he said.
That’s partially because Laine’s favorite player growing up was Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, who played for Russia in the 3-1 loss. At one point, Ovechkin delivered a solid hit to Laine, and the Finnish rookie was asked about it afterward:
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) May 21, 2016
“Yeah, I won’t wash this jersey ever because he hit me,” he said.
Yuck. But also awesome.
It’s been an impressive tournament for Laine, when Corey Perry wasn’t trying to break his ankles. It’s been a learning experience, too, in playing against Ovechkin and other NHLers.
“It’s nice to play against him, and nice to notice that some of the world’s players aren’t so far [ahead]. That’s the most important thing about this tournament. It gives you confidence in the summer, in practice, to play in the NHL next season,” he said.
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