Winning is hard. It doesn't matter where and when you're playing.
Kevin Stenlund, a second-round pick selected by the Blue Jackets, found that out after a tough battle in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) finals.
His team HV71 just won the SHL title after 2-1 overtime thriller in Game 7. Stenlund played as the club's first-line center for the team throughout its playoff run. Not too bad for the 20-year-old, 6-foot-4 centerman.
In the regular season, Stenlund scored 13 goals and added seven assists for 20 points in 48 games. He truly began to shine in the playoffs, when he put up 10 points in 16 playoff games and was a big part of HV71's run.
William Karlsson, who previously played for HV71 and still follows the club closely, chimed in on the SHL title win:
Ass HVEEE! Stort jvla grattis till alla i Jnkping, Huskvarna & alla andra HV-supportrar dr ute i landet! S vl vrda guldet @HV71— William Karlsson (@WKarlsson71) April 29, 2017
There's an expletive in there, along with some general congratulations on the win.
Stenlund has even caught the attention of GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who mentioned his progress in a year-end interview.
Stenlund being such an impact player at his age, in a league of professionals, is an encouraging sign. Having a league championship under his belt is one good way to accelerate his developmental path.