Edmonton Oilers pick speedy winger Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson in NHL draft

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MONTREAL - The Edmonton Oilers hope Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson will deliver an offensive punch to a team that struggled to find the back of the net last season.

The Oilers selected the 17-year-old Swede known for his crafty stickhandling and big bursts of speed with the 10th pick overall in Friday's NHL draft in Montreal.

Paajarvi-Svensson, a six-foot-one, 201-pound forward, had 17 points in 50 games last season playing for Timra in the Swedish Elite League.

When asked whether he could make the NHL next season, the native of Norrkoping, Sweden, didn't mince his words.

"Yeah, why not?" Paajarvi-Svensson told reporters at the Bell Centre.

"My plan right now is to play with Timra next year, but you never know."

The left-winger won back-to-back silver medals playing for Sweden at the world junior hockey championships in 2008 and 2009.

Paajarvi-Svensson, one of only a handful of players to compete at the world juniors as a 16-year-old, was second in scoring on his team at this year's tournament in Ottawa.

Last season, the Oilers' top offensive players fell short of expectations, failing to put up big numbers during a disappointing campaign.

Paajarvi-Svensson, who lists Swedish hockey legends Peter Forsberg and Kent Nilsson among his idols, exudes confidence, saying when he gets the chance, he will deliver.

"I want to make a great impact and (bring) a lot of speed," he said.

"I want to do things with the puck all the time and try to make plays and try to make goals."

Edmonton had the NHL's 23rd ranked power play in 2008-09 and missed the playoffs for a third straight year.

General manager Steve Tambellini fired head coach Craig MacTavish after the season and later replaced him with veteran bench boss Pat Quinn.

The Oilers had expected to battle for first place in the Northwest Division but instead finished a disappointing 11th in the Western Conference.

Paajarvi-Svensson was one of three players on Edmonton's radar, head scout Stu MacGregor said after the selection.

"He's a great skater, plays with a competitive edge, competes hard and takes it to the net," MacGregor said.

The Oilers expect Paajarvi-Svensson to return to the Swedish Elite League next year for a third season and will re-evaluate him after the season.

But MacGregor predicts it won't be long before he suits up for Edmonton.

"He could well be a player that could be playing for (the Oilers) at 20," he said.


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