From The Archives: Developing The Dane
This From The Archives feature story about Joachim Blichfeld appeared in the February-April 2020 edition of Sharks Magazine.
In Denmark, there is a driveway. The future of the Sharks’ offense may depend on what happened there.
If that sounds overly dramatic, then someone needs to figure out a better way to stress how important Joachim Blichfeld could be to the organization.
As a kid, Blichfeld shot puck after puck in that Danish driveway. He pounded rubber for a couple of hours every day into the regulation hockey goal and net that his dad bought and planted there.
This was an unusual sight in Blichfeld’s hometown of Frederikshavn, located way, way up there on the north coast of a country where hockey is not exactly king – or even a duke or viscount.
“Not very many people play hockey in Denmark,” says Alex True, who is Blichfeld’s fellow countryman on the San Jose Barracuda roster. “So, if you are a hockey player, it’s almost like you know every other hockey player.”
True is not exaggerating. Denmark has a population of 5.6 million. That’s fewer people than live in the Bay Area. Of those 5.6 million folks, only about 4,400 play hockey. That’s fewer people than are stuck in cars on I-280 in downtown San Jose any given minute.
Blichfeld emerged from Denmark’s hockey non-hotbed because he was that crazy kid who kept shooting those shots in that driveway, as neighbors looked on with both puzzlement and admiration. But the shots paid off.
At age 16, Blichfeld left the driveway and his local team to go play in Sweden.
At age 18, Blichfeld was drafted by the Sharks in the seventh round.
At age 20, Blichfeld was playing junior hockey in the USA and scored 53 goals for the Portland Winterhawks.
At age 21, Blichfeld . . . .
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