Photo courtesy of Pär Bäckström/Bildbyrån
Noel Gunler is a top Swedish prospect eligible for the 2020 NHL draft. He is a decent skater with an incredible shot as well as playmaking abilities. This season he played in his first full SHL season with Luleå HF, the club he has been playing with since he was a 16-year-old. In 45 games, Gunler scored four goals and nine assists for 13 total points.
I was able to ask Noel a couple of questions through Instagram.
Question: So first question. When did you start playing hockey and who was your favorite player growing up?
Answer: “First time I skated I was 3 years old. My favorite player growing up was Patrick Kane.”
Question: What do you like most about the position you play and what kind of playing style do you bring to a team?
Answer: “What I like most with my position is that I can get some good rushes and create offensive plays. I bring a smart playing style. Good hockey sense can make good plays to my teammates.I wanna be a goal scorer that’s my number one thing, to help my team win.”
Question: Now reflect on your season with Luleå HF?
Answer: “I think it’s been good, we had a really good team. I think I had a good first season in the SHL and learned a lot. It’s been some ups and downs this season but when I put everything together I’m happy and proud of this season and really looking forward to the next season. I want to bring my best game into every game.”
Question: Who were your best influences during the season?
Answer: “Hard question. Everyone on the team has been taking care of me and helping me.”
Question: Now obviously the NHL Draft is postponed. Is it frustrating not knowing when it will be?
Answer: “A little bit. The draft is one big thing that I have been looking forward to for a while now.”
Question: When the time comes, where would you project yourself in the draft?
Answer: “Somewhere in the first-round.”
Question: Since the coronavirus, what have you been doing to stay as healthy as possible?
Answer: “I have tried to stay at home as much as possible, then I have been working out everyday. That’s it and taking walks with our dog.”
Question: Are there any rinks or parks open near you? Or have you just been at home?
Answer: “In Sweden everything is open as normal. We have the rule that you can be max 50 people at the same place. I have been working out in my home gym and at the rink we have a nice gym too.”
Question: With all this free time, are there any areas surrounding your game that you’d like to improve?
Answer: “Yes there is. Right now I’m working much on getting stronger and faster. I also shoot a lot and work on stickhandling.”
Question: What kind of role do you see yourself playing in the NHL?
Answer: “I really want to be an offensive guy who can score.”
Question: For a fun question. Who would your dream NHL line be?
Answer: “Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatil.”
Question: Lasty, what pushes you through the hard times in hockey?
Answer: “My family. Also my mind so I can prove people wrong.”
Question: Well thank you for doing this. I wish you best of luck in the draft!
Answer: “Of course. Thanks for having me!”
By: Clare McManus (@claremcmanuss)