Johan Moell's Journey to Canada

Johan was recently added to the HTI's Staff Team as a Head Scout for Scandinavia. He is mainly concentrated on young hockey players that are looking to take their hockey career to the next level. We are excited to have Johan on board with our program as we are striving to expend our organization internationally. As a result, we are planning on organizing a series of evaluation camps in Europe, as a promotion and presentation of our program abroad. We pride ourselves on diversity and International flavor, which is the main element that creates the unique atmosphere of our hockey academy. That being said, we had a chance to welcome Johan for an official visit to introduce our program to him and his recruits. Johan had the opportunity to exeprience in detail our Boys and our Girls programs, which showed him the level of hockey on both sides. 

Johan joined our staff team for one of the biggest weekends of our season, when the HTI Lady Stars were playing at the 'Fire on Ice' tournament in Rochester, NY, USA. The tournament featured 170 teams from around North America and it is considered to be one of the tournaments with the largest NCAA scout attendance.

We felt that having Johan there would give him a full experience of what we do including training, playing games, and promoting our players. To add to the experience, tournament staff put together an exhibition game between Dartmouth University and St. Lawrence University (NCAA D-I Women's Hockey) to promote women’s college hockey.

We took a minute and had a chat with Johan to get some feedback on his visit at HTI.

HTI: You have 15 years of coaching experience in men’s hockey. Now you have had a chance to see what women’s hockey is all about. What is your first impression?

Johan: Girls are much more forward than the boys.

HTI: This is also your first experience with hockey in Canada, what do you see as somebody that comes from abroad?

Johan: I am so glad to see that Canada, as a country, is putting so much effort to improve hockey industry and it is evident that hockey is the #1 national sport in the whole country. I must add that it is a completely different hockey scene that it is in Sweden. It is obvious to me that players that come from abroad to play hockey in Canada do need some time to adapt to the North American style of hockey, as well as life as a whole.

HTI: How do you compare Swedish Women’s Hockey to Canadian Women’s Hockey?

Johan: It seems to me that organizational part is better in Canada than in Sweden, and to follow that, the professionalism is on  much higher level in Canada than it is in Sweden. Swedish hockey world is working hard on raising awareness on women’s hockey, but I would like to see it escalate as quick as it did in Canada.

HTI: We have had a chance to watch Swedish U18 National Team on several occasions and we were very pleased with what we saw. We know that talent is there, what we want to learn more about, is the players' mind set, and dedication for hockey. Can you fill us in on that?

Johan: Top Swedish female hockey players are very talented and now I can compare them to the NCAA DI level of hockey and I have to say that they would do quite well here. The other part is always just as important and I feel like all of the players that come over to North America have to go through a period of adjustment. I feel that it is the biggest obstacle for European players in general, which is one of the main reasons why I am getting involved with HTI. I believe that if players take a year to just concentrate on their hockey and life style, they can do very well in NCAA Hockey. As a matter of fact, I am very glad that you introduced me to some of the NCAA DI scouts and I am so happy to see that they are showing huge amount of interest in female hockey players from Sweden.

HTI: Pleasure is all ours. We would like to use this opportunity to thank you again for talking the time to come and visit our program and would like to say that we are very excited to be working with you in the near future.

Johan: Thank you very much for a full weekend of hockey and for giving me a chance to get a taste of the whole experience that HTI provides here in Canada.

HTI: Safe travels and we are looking forward to seeing you soon.