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Ole-Kristian Tollefsen part of a new group of Flyers tough guys

Thursday, 09.3.2009 / 2:47 PM ET / News
By Kevin Kurz  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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(Voorhees, NJ) – With the additions of Chris Pronger, Ray Emery and Ian Laperriere this summer, the Flyers sent a message to the rest of the NHL that they planned on playing a more aggressive and rugged style of hockey.

Just when it looked like general manager Paul Holmgren was done with his offseason attitude adjustment of the roster, however, he added one more component. Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, a 25-year-old defenseman who had been with Columbus the last three-plus seasons, signed a one-year deal with the Flyers on July 30.
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen signed a one-year deal with the Flyers on July 30, 2009. (Getty Images)

Tollefsen, originally drafted in the third round by Columbus in 2002, is yet another player that skates with an edge to his game, as evidenced by his numerous fights and highlight-reel hits with the Blue Jackets during his time there.

“I think that’s one of the main things about this team,” said Tollefsen, when asked about the Flyers’ toughness. “It’s not going to be fun to play against us. That’s how [we’ll] win games.”

Although he has not been in the league all that long, Tollefsen already has the reputation of being a hard hitter that looks to finish checks with his 6-2, 211-pound frame. He takes pride in that facet of his game. (Editor's note: check out this hit on YouTube against Buffalo's Ales Kotalik during a game last season).

“I think every guy in the NHL has to be good at something to make yourself known in the league, and that’s one of my upsides, obviously. Hopefully I can keep on doing that here.

“I’m a reliable player. I take care of my own end first. I’m not really an offensive guy, but I can jump in whenever I get the opportunity and I will stick up for teammates and bring a lot of energy to the rink.”

Tollefsen, who is just one of five Norwegian-born players to ever skate in the NHL, remained home in Oslo after signing with the Flyers. He began skating at the beginning of August, which is a little earlier than most players, because he has not played since February when he sustained a season-ending knee injury. He appeared in just 19 games last season, recording one assist and 37 penalty minutes.

“Right now it’s feeling good, but it obviously takes some time to get back,” he said. “I’ve been skating since August 1 and it’s getting better pretty much every day. [There have been] no setbacks, and hopefully we’ll keep it that way.”

He arrived in Philadelphia on August 27, and is impressed with the organization so far. He’s not surprised, though, as his good friend and former Flyer Patrick Thoresen (also from Norway) had nothing but good things to say about the club.

“They take really good care of you, and if there’s something I need, they’re on top of it right away and they help you all the way along,” said Tollefsen. “I’ve been downtown a couple of times and it looks like a nice city.”

He’s getting to know his new teammates as well, since the only one he ever played with before was Brian Boucher during the goaltender’s very brief stint in Columbus in 2006.

“I think I played one game against Philly, so it’s not too familiar,” he said. “It takes a little time, but it’s good in a way. That’s why I’m here a little early, just to get to know the guys and see the city and everything.”

Tollefsen will get to partake in the 2010 Olympic Games with Norway, as the NHL will once again have its players in the tournament in Vancouver.

“Obviously, it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

He doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself, however. Getting established as a key component of a blue line corps that already appears loaded, while at the same time returning from a major injury, will be at the top on his priority list.

“I want to have a good start here. As I said earlier, I’m really excited to get back into it.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 51 16 28 -6 44
J. Voracek 51 8 34 -1 42
W. Simmonds 51 18 16 -6 34
B. Schenn 49 14 15 -1 29
S. Gostisbehere 33 9 18 4 27
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 50 9 9 -5 18
S. Laughton 51 4 10 -6 14
M. Del Zotto 49 4 9 -9 13
M. Raffl 51 6 6 2 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 13 7 .916 2.69
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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