As heard on "Leafs This Week"...
Andrew: Hey everyone, I'm here with my co-host Tyler Hill. How are you today, Tyler?
Tyler: I'm good, Andy. How are you doing?
Andrew: I'm great, thanks. Today, we're being joined by Viktor Stalberg, who was drafted by the Leafs in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and currently plays for the University of Vermont in the NCAA. How are you today, Viktor?
Viktor Stalberg: I'm doing pretty fine, how are you doing?
Andrew: I'm good. So, let's get this interview underway. Let's get to know you a little better. Tell us a little about yourself and where you grew up.
Viktor Stalberg: Well, I grew up in Guthenberg, Sweden, and I started playing hockey when I was pretty young. Fortunately for me it worked out pretty well, and I got a tremendous opportunity getting drafted by Toronto a couple of years ago.
Andrew: Great. Tyler?
Tyler: When you were drafted by the Leafs, what was your initial reaction?
Viktor Stalberg: Well, you know, I was obviously very excited. I followed the draft online at my computer at my house and I was sitting there kinda by myself, but it was obviously a great feeling being drafted by such a tremendous team with a lot of history and hopefully a bright future sometime in the near future.
Tyler: I hope you can help us out with the bright future.
Viktor Stalberg: Yeah, I hope so. They're rebuilding next year and that expands the possibilities.
Andrew: You're definatly a great skater with a scoring touch. What do you think you can bring to a team like the Leafs?
Viktor Stalberg: I think I could play a couple of different roles, I'm just a big player and pretty good offensively. I think I can play a checking role, or maybe a top forward role as well. I think this year I've shown that I have been able to score some goals and put points on the board, and hopefully I'll get a chance to play that role, but in time I'll have to get acquainted with those roles to make my NHL career happen.
Tyler: You're known mostly as a scorer. Do you think there's any part of your game that you need to improve?
Viktor Stalberg: Well, I think there are lots of things that I can improve in my game. I got stronger this year, and I think I need to get stronger and more physical, so there are always things I can improve on, but it depends on my skill level. Some things, like skating and stuff, are already at the level and they don't need to be made better.
Andrew: Do you have any goals you wish to accomplish or achieve between now and the rest of your career?
Viktor Stalberg: Well, I have the same goal any other guy playing hockey has, and that's obviously winning the Stanley Cup, and hopefully that's something I can be a part of it up in Toronto. They definitely deserve that, and hopefully I can be part of the team that brings the Stanley Cup back to Toronto.
Tyler: What do you credit the most for your rise in the Leafs' prospect rankings over the last few months?
Viktor Stalberg: I guess my overall game has improved a lot. I guess I got a lot stronger than I was last year. My coaches have shown a lot of confidence in me this year, and I think you go with that. I think I'm playing better and being more confident out there.
Andrew: How big of a difference do you think it was playing in North America after having played so much hockey in Sweden?
Viktor Stalberg: Well, there are some big differences in the game, obviously. Back in Europe, you play more of a puck-possession game, I guess, and over here you just don't have the same time. You have to get bigger and stronger. For me, it was great coming here, and I didn't have that much of a hard time adjusting here as some of the guys that come from Europe have, so that was beneficial.
Tyler: If you were to win the Hobey Baker Award, what would that mean to you?
Viktor Stalberg: That would be a great personal achievement, obviously, but there aren't that many personal awards out there to look into. You value the piece, so hopefully I'll be one of those guys up there [in the award conversation], but at the same time, we're focusing on getting ahead here and maybe run for the National Championship.
Andrew: This is my last question: How long do you think it'll be until we see you playing in the NHL playing for the Leafs?
Viktor Stalberg: I don't know, that's something I'm going to have to see with my coaches year after year, see where we have each other and see where I fall, but this year my focus is finishing this year here and hopefully [making a] run for the National Championship. So, it's still up in the air I guess, but hopefully the chance will be there for me.
Tyler: If you had the chance to play with any player in the NHL, who would it be and why?
Viktor Stalberg: Well, I think the NHL is where the best players, are and two of the best players are Zetterberg and Datsyuk. I think it would be tremendous to play with those guys.
Tyler: Thank you very much!
Viktor Stalberg: No problem.
Andrew: Thanks Viktor, those [questions] are it. Thanks for being with us today.
Viktor Stalberg: Thanks for having me.
VIKTOR STALBERG WAS SIGNED BY THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS TO A 2 YEAR ENTRY CONTRACT ON TUESDAY APRIL 14, 2009.
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