Laine Faces Childhood Idol
Patrik Laine isn’t like most other 18-year-olds. No, he’s a sensational prospect from Finland who is probably a lock to go second overall in the upcoming NHL Draft, though some think he could even overtake assumed lock Auston Matthews, the future savior of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Then again, he’s kind of like other 18-year-olds. From his goofball draft lottery night interview that was conducted (we think) in bed using FaceTime to his comments after Finland sent Russia to the bronze medal game on Sunday in St. Petersburg.
“It was really amazing to play against those guys and to win,” he said.
It was amazing because they won (obviously), but it was also that way because Laine’s favorite player growing up just happened to be Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. At one point, Ovechkin delivered a hit to Laine, and the Finnish sensation was asked about it afterward:
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) May 21, 2016
“Yeah, I won’t wash this jersey ever because he hit me,” he said.
A little bit gross, a lot bit awesome. Like we wouldn’t feel the same way.
This has been an impressive tournament for Laine, who is competing largely against NHLers and star players whom he will see on a regular basis starting this fall.
“It’s nice to play against him, and nice to notice that some of the world’s players aren’t so far [ahead]. That’s the most important thing about this tournament. It gives you confidence in the summer, in practice, to play in the NHL next season,” he said.
Laine is winning over fans with his play already but he should continue to earn admirers with his awesome attitude, too.