If David Rundblad’s outstanding 2010-1011 season in the Swedish Elite League hadn’t already been shouted out from on high, making him one of the top rookies to watch this fall, you’d have a bit of trouble finding it out from him.
In an age when professional athletes are not afraid to blow their own horns, even if they have nothing to blow them about, Rundblad is a study in prudence.
When fellow Swede Erik Karlsson got here two years, he walked in with a confident swagger. He didn’t exactly put it into words, but he gave you the feeling he was going to score 40 goals, lead the team to the Stanley Cup and kiss all the girls in town.
Rundblad, on the other hand, is more the self-effacing type. His answers walk the line between caution and discretion. Asked if he felt he was ready to make the jump to the NHL, the 20-year-old defenceman allowed that maybe he was – but then again he wasn’t entirely sure.
“You know, it’s hard to say because I’ve never played in the NHL before, but I’ll work hard and I feel like I want to take this chance,” he said. “I know it’s going to be tough to play in the NHL, but I’m ready to try.”
Asked if he expects to play a big role on the team, he demurred. “I don’t know,” he said. “It’s up to the coach. I will talk to him and play three games in the rookie tournament, and see what happens.”
The most Rundblad allows is that when you score a lot of points, “people talk about you.”