Filip Forsberg, Gabriel Landeskog, Rasmus Dahlin and Jacob Josefsson. World Selects Invitationals (WSI) is a hockey tournament that helps educate future NHL stars. Now you can follow tomorrow's hockey heroes live on World Hockey Group TV. The coach Magnus Ramström explains what it takes to go all the way - and that is far from just being great on the ice.
The players are between 12 and 14 years old and the tournaments are played in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic and Sweden.
Magnus Ramström has been involved since the start in 2003, he has seen WSI develop and followed some of “his” players continue on to Team Sweden, NHL and SHL.
– The basic philosophy was to give the guys who were a bit ahead an opportunity to play some extra hockey in the spring and summer, and at the same time let them see how they “do it” in for example the US and Canada, Ramström explains.
– The best thing with the lessons from the trips, and we can take someone like Jacob Josefsson as an example, is that the players never felt any nervousness in later stages with, for example, the national team. They are used to new guys, and in many cases a new language. The social aspect becomes important and you meet new peers at the same level.
These are fantastic tournaments. I am actually surprised every year how talented the players are at young ages.
World Selects Invitational is also for girls and boys who do not necessarily need to belong to the top layer in each country.
– We also have other levels, not just for the 12-13 year olds who are far ahead. Tournaments have been created for many more players today. The philosophy for the youngest teams and what we strived for there is to put together several teams in each age group to go on different tournaments with different difficulty levels, says Magnus Ramström.
He explains why you should check out this year's tournaments live on Solidsport, even if you do not belong to the families or the closest circle around the players.
– These are fantastic tournaments. I'm actually surprised every year how talented the players are at young ages. And then to play against teams from the USA, Czech Republic, Finland and Canada - it will be a fun tournament with good youth hockey.
So, how do you see if a player has the qualities to really break through at the highest level?
Magnus Ramström has seen clear and early signs among the players who have made it big, and it is not about shooting the hardest, skating the fastest or stick handle the best.
–What is noticeable with the guys who succeed is that they are very humble and mature at an early age. They are great team players from the start, Ramström begins.
– Jacob (Josefsson) was a guy who could go far and he had that humility. Similarly, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (Boston Bruins), and also Victor Rask (Minnesota Wild), Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche), Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators) and most recently Alexander Holtz (born -02 and belongs to Djurgårdens IF). They have one thing in common, and that is that they are great teammates.
All tournaments from World Selects Invitational will be broadcasted live on
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