Taking Liberties With… Gustav Olofsson
Defenseman, Iowa Wild (AHL)
Hometown: Borås, Sweden
Last Youth Program: Colorado Thunderbirds
Colorado Rubber: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players and their parents?
Gustav Olofsson: For the kids, embrace and enjoy the opportunity to play hockey. I was very fortunate to play different sports growing up, and that drove my desire to play hockey. I was excited to go to hockey practice, excited to go to soccer practice and so on, and I never grew tired of one sport.
CR: What are your favorite sports to play outside of hockey?
GO: Soccer and tennis. I like fast-paced sports where you don’t stand around and wait all that much.
CR: What’s your game-day routine, and go-to pre-game meal?
GO: I wake up, have eggs and bacon for breakfast, head off to the morning skate, and then usually take about an hour-and-a-half nap. I like to eat pasta and chicken before games.
CR: What’s your favorite hockey memory before turning pro?
GO: Playing (for Sweden) in the (2014) World Junior Championship on home turf in Malmö.
CR: What’s your favorite restaurant in Denver, and what are you ordering off the menu?
GO: Cucina Colorè. I like their wood-fired pizza.
CR: What hockey players did you idolize most growing up?
GO: Mats Sundin and Nicklas Lidstrom. Both guys captained very successful teams in the NHL for a long, long time. I also wore their numbers growing up (Sundin, No. 13; Lidstrom, No. 5).
CR: What’s the most challenging aspect of making it to the NHL?
GO: For a defenseman, I’d say positioning and learning to use your energy efficiently. Everyone playing in that league is there for a reason, and if you’re not in the right spot at the right time, you’ve already put yourself at a disadvantage to either break up a play or make a play.
CR: What would we be most surprised to find in your hockey bag?
GO: In my little tape bag, I’ve always had a couple squishy characters from the Disney movie “Monsters, Inc.” that were given to me by my youngest brother.
CR: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
GO: Mölle, Sweden. As a family, we try to go back every summer. It’s gorgeous and right by the water. It’s not easy to explain the true Swedish summer feel, but when the weather is nice in Mölle, you can’t beat it.
– Compiled by Matt Mackinder