Brandsegg-Nygard gains valuable experience for Norway at the World Championship

Share this:

PRAGUE, Czechia — With Norway at the 2024 IIHF World Championship in Czechia, Michael Brandsegg-Nygard is gaining more than just game action.

In the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, the forward a projected first-round pick, is also receiving a crash course on what he can anticipate when he aims to make the jump to the NHL.

“It’s really cool and an amazing experience for me,” Brandsegg-Nygard said. “It’s really thrilling to play against those guys you’ve watched on the TV a lot and guys you have admired your whole life.

“I really do learn a lot from watching those players from Canada, for example, or Norway teammate Mats Zuccarello, who plays in the NHL, I try to learn from them as much as possible because he is a really good player. I appreciate his style of hockey and perhaps I try to integrate some of his skills into my own game.”

Brandsegg-Nygard is confident that his experience has reinforced the belief that he is close to his NHL future.

“I think so,” Brandsegg-Nygard said. “I always go out on the ice with a lot of confidence and I think I can make it all the way.”

Brandsegg-Nygard standing at 6 feet 1 inch, and weighing 198 pounds, was born in Oslo, Norway, but he spent the 2023-24 seasons playing with Mora in Hockey Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second division. During the regular season, he had 18 points with eight goals, 10 assists in 41 games, and contributed 10 points with four goals, and six assists in 12 playoff games.

The 18-year-old also recorded five points, comprising three goals, and two assists while averaging 17 minutes and 22 seconds of ice time in five games for Norway at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

“He’s going to be a really good player,” said Zuccarello, a forward with the Minnesota Wild who holds the record for most goals (198), assists (438), points (636) and games played (835) by a Norwegian-born player in NHL history. “He’s got an unbelievable release and shot. He’s right-handed, and he is able to create space for himself due to his heavy physique.”

Brandsegg-Nygard, ranked No. 5 on NHL Central Scouting’s final list of international skaters for the 2024 draft, is the third-youngest player at the World Championship; the youngest player is Konsta Helenius of Finland, and Brandsegg-Nygard’s teammate, Stian Solberg, is second-youngest (each is also 18).

NHL Director of European Scouting Jukka-Pekka Vuorinen praised “Michael as one of the best prospects from Norway time”. “He commended Michael makes good decisions with the puck and strong vision on the ice very well. Michael looks very confident and composure with the puck. He demonstrates strength on his skates and has decent first-step quickness his smooth handling skills and powerful wrist shot are dangerous.”

Age hasn’t been a factor for Brandsegg-Nygard, according to Solberg.

“He’s a big guy,” said Solberg, No. 20 in Central Scouting’s final ranking. “He’s strong. He has a great shot. His head (might be his best trait), maybe. He never backs down. He doesn’t let anyone touch him. He stands up for himself. He’s a tough guy and he’s physical. He possesses the ability to play-make, delivering some great passes. But it’s his shot. He has a great shot.”

At the World Championship, the shot has been on display.

Brandsegg-Nygard, who is averaging 14 minutes and 10 seconds of ice time per game, is first on Norway with three goals, and third with seven points.

Admittedly, he doesn’t “really think about” how he’s made the seamless transition to the larger stage. 

“I just go out and play,” said Brandsegg-Nygard, who will play with Skelleftea AIK in the SHL, Sweden’s top division, next season. “I always think that I’m the best out there. That works for me. I just go out and do what I always have done.”

The draft is scheduled to be held at Sphere in Las Vegas on June 28-29. The first round will be Friday, June 28 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) with rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 29 (11:30 ET; ESPN+, NHLN, SN, SN1).

There, Brandsegg-Nygard is poised to become the highest-drafted Norwegian time player ever and potentially the first first-round pick in his country’s history. Currently, forward Marius Holtet holds distinction, who was selected by the Dallas Stars in the second round (No. 42) of the 2002 NHL Draft.

“I won’t deny,” Brandsegg-Nygard stated. “It is challenging not to consider the draft while playing, for instance, but I don’t see it as a hindrance. Instead, it motivates me to keep going and work harder.”

Read More

Guentzel, Pesce, and Skjei are eager to re-sign with Hurricanes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *