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08-28-2012, 09:39 AM
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OWEN SOUND - Gilbert Gabor knew enough about the Owen Sound Attack to get excited.

So while most Canadian Hockey League import draft picks are very low key about being selected, the 16-year-old Swede was tweeting right away that he was a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s Attack.

“I was watching the OHL through the Internet and I saw it was a great league,” Gabor said on Monday during a break in the Attack’s rookie camp

“I also knew a little bit about this team. I knew it was a good team and had great fans so I was excited and I’m looking forward to seeing (the fans) first hand.”

Owen Sound drafted the six-foot-three 185-pound left-winger in the first round (24th overall) in June’s CHL Import draft.

He had 19 goals and 10 assists in 21 games with the AIK under-18 elite team. He added three goals and eight assists in 15 games with the J18 Allsvenskan team.

“Canadians are known for playing tough hockey and I hope I can bring that to the team too,” said Gabor, whose parents are Slovakian but had moved to Sweden before he was born.

“I just try to bring my speed to the lineup and help the team. The coaches like it when you go to the net. Everyone has their own style but I like to play hard.”

Gabor’s got an excellent command of English, which he figures will help make for a smooth transition to the OHL.

“It will help me with my teammates and with understanding the drills and practices,” said Gabor. “It also helps me going through school. In Sweden we have good English classes so it will be good.”

Attack coach Greg Ireland said Gabor’s time in the Swedish system will only help him transition faster to the OHL.

“The Swedes are a very worldly people . . . they’re well educated and in most cases, multi-lingual,” said Ireland.

“They just seem to have a demeanor that helps them adapt and fit in very well. I think that’s why so many National Hockey League teams are having success in drafting and having Swedes on their team.”

So far Ireland has liked what he’s seen of Gabor.

“I thought he looked real good and he was one of the better guys on the ice,” said Ireland. “He’s a big strong kid with a little bit of jam in him. He’s got some talent. He’s a a powerful skater and he’s willing to go to the front of the net and fight for space.”

Gabor’s gregarious nature is sure to earn him fans, general manager Dale DeGray said.

“He’s a great kid with a great personality so he’ll be well liked,” said DeGray, noting that winger Stefano Pezzetta, centre Justin Brack, defenceman Alex Annecchiarico, and defenceman Thomas Schemitsch all impressed on the opening day of camp.

The Attack had a couple players come to camp injured as defenceman Chris MacMillan and left-winger Marco Azzano both were hurt within the last week and will be out for three weeks. They were sent home.

Because the defence was shorthanded, the Attack revamped the rookie camp by pooling all of the players together for one practice each morning and then two scrimmages.

“They (the rookies) looked good,” said Ireland. “At first they were looking around with big eyes but I thought they got into it. The pace was good and there was some speed and some physicality.”

SLAPSHOTS: D Jacob Middleton had his bell rung on a hit by centre Evan Smith on Monday afternoon and he left the ice shortly afterwards. Ireland said Middleton was not seriously injured on the play . . . G Cameron Hackett did not report to camp on Monday.

(report is Hackett is aiming for a NCAA scholarship)

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