Växjö’s Rosen hopes to repeat success

VAXJO, Sweden – 2011/12 Swedish Elite League top-scorer Robert Rosén talks to Pro Hockey News about his successful campaign with AIK last season, and his hopes for new club Växjö this year.
Robert Rosén’s 60 points topped Elitserien scoring last season. He flourished in Stockholm, leading the team’s next-best scorer Richard Gynge by a significant margin as AIK qualified for the playoffs. But was he surprised by his own success? 
“I was very surprised,” Rosén says. “It was not something I expected to do before the season. It was an amazing year and so much fun to play.”
Rosén spent much of last season skating alongside Gynge and left-winger Oscar Steen, and he credits line chemistry for much of his success. “We had a very good feeling in our line, and I guess we had different ingredients that made it so good.”
AIK eliminated top-seeded Lulea in the opening round of the playoffs, before losing a tight seven-game series to Skellefteå. Rosén scored twice in a crucial game-six win in Stockholm, and he hopes to repeat his post-season success with Växjö this year.
“It was so much fun to play those playoff games, so that’s really something I want to do again and hopefully that’s something I can do this year with Växjö too.”
Speaking about pre-season, where Rosén registered five goals and five assists in eight games, he says; “I think the pre-season went very well, and I like to play with Tomi Kallio. He’s a very smart, skilled player who knows where the goal is.”
Rosén hasn’t necessarily required the usual settling in time that most new signings would need when joining a different club. The Alvesta-born skater spent five seasons with Växjö before moving to Modo in 2010, and as such he remembers a few familiar faces.
“It’s pretty easy I think to fit in to this group for everyone, and especially for me because I have played here for five years before and I already know many of my team-mates. I like it big time here.”
I asked Robert if there were any particular areas of his game he would focus on this year. “I will continue to focus on my speed, that’s something I particularly want to improve and it’s something I have worked on for the last three years.” 
He continues; “For me I have the same expectations as every year, and that is to stay humble and always do my best in practice and during games to give myself the best opportunity to continue to develop.”
Växjö have made a promising start to the 2012-13 season, winning three of their opening six games. Rosén has two goals, and his team sit seventh ahead of league heavyweights Skellefteå. 
“The chances for the team to make the playoffs is really big I think. There is a lot of players who have been here for a long time and really feel for the club. That’s important. The biggest challenge for us as a team will be preparing physically and mentally for every game. It’s very tough games every night.”
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