Today the men’s hockey tournament takes a break in the Olympics, therefore it is a good time to shed some light on Team Austria’s wonder-kid – Michael Grabner.
The Austrian winger was drafted in the first round (14th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. He started his career with Vancouver in the 2009-10 season, playing 20 games and putting up 11 points (5+6), but was then traded to the Florida Panthers. Grabner never suited up for the Panthers though, and was placed on waivers, at that point he was picked up by his current team, the New York Islanders. Since becoming an Islander in the 2010-11 season, he has played in 255 NHL games, and has scored 79 goals and added 46 assists.
If you haven’t noticed by now, either from the few stats pointed out, or from watching the Olympics, Grabner has a knack for putting the puck in the back of the net. He currently sits with the second most points in these Olympic games, only behind USA’s Phil Kessel, and only by one point. Grabner has sole possession of first on the goals leader board though, scoring 5 goals so far, with Drew Doughty and Kessel right on his heels with 4.
In the preliminary round, Grabner scored a hat trick against Finland in an 8-4 loss, and then 2 goals and 1 assist in a 3-1 victory over Norway – Canada shutout the Austrians 6-0 as well. Out of Austria’s 7 goals, Grabner has scored 5 of them, assisted on one of them, only leaving one goal to which he has not contributed on. It doesn’t matter what country you are rooting for, that is impressive, 6 points in two games.
Grabner and the Austrians will face Slovenia in the playoff round on February 18th, puck drop is scheduled for noon local Sochi time, 3:00 AM EST.