He's The Next One in Sweden, the goalie who will make people forget about Tommy Salo and a floater of a goal by Belarus at the 2002 Winter Games.
Henrik Lundqvist is hyped to be the best goalie to wear the Tre Kronor on his chest since the late great Pelle Lindbergh's reign in the late 1970s and 1980s.
There's no doubt that Lundqvist benefited from the influx of NHL players in the Elite League this year. Facing elite shooters night in and night out helped him raise his competitive level and it helped his confidence.
"It will help me in the future if I am going over (to the NHL) next year," he said.
The Rangers have Lundqvist penciled in as a possible No. 1 goalie when the NHL resumes play.
He likes the idea of a challenge.
"That would be my goal to make the team and one big problem for Swedish goalies or anyone who is playing in Europe and goes to the NHL is the big respect to have for everybody. Now I have played against the best in the world and that will help me take the next step.
Absolutley getting the respect he deserves. The kid is the best prospect out of europe and is the hottest thing going and he was a 7th rounder I beleive picked by NYR . What a steal. The kid is looking to be as solid a prospect as M.A Fluery and K.Lehtonen, but since he wasnt a 1st rounder people dont think of him, how ignorant. The kid is no joke and looks to have a future and I would have no problem with NYR throwing him in net as a #1 he has shown he got it , especially playing against all these NHL'ers.
Damn NYR sure lucked out with this kid.
The funny thing is, Lundqvist was the second goalie drafted by the Rangers that year. Imagine if Neil Smith had said "I'm sure this kid is good, Christer, but we already took Brandon Snee to fill our goalie needs."
Henrik Lundqvist column by Damien Cox-Toronto Star
the extroverted and friendly Lundqvist is seemingly revelling in the extra attention after leading his Vastra Frolunda HC Goteborg squad to the Swedish championship this season.
After practice yesterday, he stood on the ice in front of the bench chatting in animated fashion long after his teammates had left, at one point doing a physical demonstration of the differences between goaltending styles of the 1970s to modern times.
Asked about the differences in the Swedish coaching staff under new boss Bengt Ake Gustafsson, Lundqvist suggested a simpler style has helped the Swedes stay unbeaten at this event so far.
"But I don't care about coaching," he said. " I never listen to the coaches anyway."
He plays in a garage band and bought a new acoustic guitar here in Innsbruck to help kill time between games and practices.
"I had to do something," he explained with a broad smile. "The Swedish team is way up in the mountains."
On a national squad decidedly short on star power due to the absence of Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund, Lundqvist is the big story, a New York Ranger draft pick who allowed only 15 goals in 14 playoff games while recording six shutouts, including three in the final against Farjestad.
"(Lundqvist) is the talk of the country there right now," said Canadian defenceman Chris Phillips, who faced the netminder while playing in Sweden this season.
Lundqvist is likely to head to North America when the lockout ends, and that's when he might find more challenges than he expects.
Just based upon a visual inspection, Lundqvist wears significantly oversized equipment, particularly his goal pads which rise up nearly to his waist and shoulder padding that would make Garth Snow blush.
With the NHL focusing on cutting goalies down to size, it seems almost certain that when Lundqvist goes to New York, he'll have to get by with substantially reduced pads and body armour.
"It's hard for guys to score now, so maybe that's the next step," he said. "But I don't think the equipment is too big. They have to look at the game, not just the goalies. There aren't as many scoring chances as there were five or 10 years ago."