"I love this arena"

"I love this arena"

30 Dec 2013 | Henrik Lundqvist

André Burakovsky was euphoric after the World Junior Championship game against Norway in which he scored three goals in his old home arena.


"It’s not every game you score a hat-trick. It was my first in Malmö Arena. So it was really fun to come back home and do one here at the World Juniors", André Burakovsky tells Eurohockey after the 10-0 win over Norway.

For the third game in a row more than 11,000 fans had come to Malmö Arena to watch the Swedish U20 team play. After 2-goal wins against Switzerland and Finland last night’s game against Norway was a lot easier.

"I was shocked when I heard that so many would come to the game. Norway is, as you know, not the best team of the tournament. But it was extremely fun that so many came and cheered for us. Every time when it is loud and a lot of people in the seats, it is hard to do a bad game. They really turn you on and help you forwards." 

Burakovsky is supposed to score a lot of points but after the two first games he had only recorded one assist.

"My strength is in the attacking zone, and I am supposed to score a lot of points. I haven’t really done that in the first two games so I’m relieved it happened today. Now the trend changed and I will just produce a lot and score more goals."

Tomorrow Sweden will play Russia for the first place in Group B. Russia started strong with big wins over Norway and Switzerland. Today they will take on Finland.

"Honestly, I don’t know much about the Russian team. When you meet them here in the hallways they seem twice as big as us, but I think we are faster and we have to take advantage of that. When you play hockey I don’t it matters if you are tall or a little shorter. It is all in your head."

"I think we produce many scoring chances today. We will bring that to the Russia game. It also felt good that we got our power-play going against Norway. We entered the zone well, got good play and opened many scoring chances. Now we will just do the same against Russia.

Burakovsky was drafted by Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2013 draft and he decided to leave his home town Malmö to play with Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League this season.

"It was a good move. I want to play a lot. That’s why I moved. I get to play 4-on-4, first power-play line and in the second line with Connor McDavid. It has really been successful. I’ve had a good season so far".

Erie Otters lead the OHL standings and Burakovsky has scored 23 goals and 24 assists in 31 games, but is he ready to take the step to NHL?

"It’s a huge step. I played two pre-season games with Washington against Philadelphia and Chicago and I think I did it quite well. Sure they were just pre-season games. You never know how it will be in a real game. I don’t think I am ready for a full NHL season, but maybe a few games to try it. I talk a lot to Washington and they come and watch me at the Erie games. They watch and then we talk a little after the game. We haven’t talked anything about being called up to the NHL. I don’t focus on that. I just want to play well and then it’s their call".

André Burakovsky grew up here in Malmö even if he was born in Austria because his father Robert played professional hockey with Klagenfurt.

"It’s a special feeling. It is incredibly nice to be back in Malmö Arena. I thought it was great to play here last season and it is great to be back again. I love this arena!"

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