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Returning from Sweden, Lucas Edmonds Excited to Play for the Frontenacs

March 23, 2021 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Kingston Frontenacs News Release

His time on the ice lasted merely three minutes, but new Frontenacs signee Lucas Edmonds made memories that will last a lifetime. In 2018-19, while playing in Sweden for Karlskrona HK J20, he earned a call up to the Karlskrona HK senior team for his first shot at the HockeyAllsvenskan (Div 2) professional level.

"I got an assist on my second shift, and then on the third or fourth shift, I scored," said the now 20-year-old forward of his debut against the now-defunct club IK Pantern. "That was probably one of my favourite games that I've played since coming to Sweden."

Since signing with the Frontenacs on March 15, Edmonds is now back in Canada and beginning his life in black and gold. The club selected him in the 7th Round of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection from the Mississauga AAA Rebels, where he played with current Fronts defender Evan Brand.

Edmonds participated in Frontenacs rookie camp that season but did not stick with the team, opting instead to go to Sweden, to play in the junior and then professional ranks.

The 2020-21 season was his fifth in Sweden and his third in the senior leagues. "I've had basically a full season already," he said of his 35 games split between second-tier Kristianstads and a return via loan to third division Karlskrona. "I haven't played as many games as I normally would during the season, but in the end, I got to play quite a lot."

The Frontenacs have been on his mind while he was playing in Sweden, and moving over now is something he is ready to take on. "It seemed like a good option now because they've gotten together a good group of guys and a really good organization. I'm really excited to get going with this group."

Unlike in North America, the Swedish hockey system features promotion and relegation, allowing top teams to move up divisions while the bottom teams are relegated. Edmonds faced both sides of the coin when he was in Sweden.

"Every game is fighting for survival, so you have to be 100% focused and committed. It's always like that, but when you're in that situation, it's even more of that feeling," he said about facing the threat of relegation. "Fighting to win is a lot more exciting."

Of all his experiences in Sweden, though, representing his country stands out among the rest. "It was quite a surprise to me when I made Team Sweden to go play a tournament in Finland; that was one of my proudest accomplishments," Edmonds said of representing Sweden at the U17 and U19 levels.

Returning to Canada, he is eager and ready to get to play in the Ontario Hockey League, something he has dreamed about since going to Battalion games with his father in North Bay, Ontario. "I remember they were playing against Barrie in the playoffs one year, and Andreas Athanasiou scored a between the legs goal, which was pretty cool."

Speaking via video call on this March afternoon, he is wearing a well-fitting hoodie and a stylish black toque. It is nothing too special, but just noticeable enough to tell that he picked up some fashion tips overseas. "In Sweden and Europe in general, people are more concerned about their style and stuff," he said. "I definitely wear a lot of sweat pants, but if it is a big occasion, maybe I will dress up extra nice."

Looking dapper awaiting his Kingston debut, the 5'11" forward has a lot of ways to keep busy. He played the guitar for several years, something he may pick up again, but more recently, a Netflix TV show inspired a new hobby. "I watched Queen's Gambit, and that got me a bit into chess, so I started to learn that as well now."

Playing hockey and moving countries is not straightforward. It is certainly no game of checkers, more like chess, and for newly signed Kingston Frontenacs forward Lucas Edmonds, that's what it is as he gets ready for the OHL.

"It will definitely be fun to get to play at the junior level again and to play at the OHL level. I grew up watching it, so it will be fun to be a part of it now."

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