Kristoffer Lauridsen may not have appeared anywhere on Future Considerations’ charts, but after his performance at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18’s, NHL scouts may want to kick his tires a little.
Denmark’s captain potted four goals and eight points during the tournament, which sat him fourth overall in scoring despite playing only five games. During the season, the 5-foot-11, 183-pound pivot racked up 21 goals and 33 points in 25 games for his Herning II squad, and also potted 13 goals and 22 points in 13 games with his Herning U20 club.Lauridsen also added five goals and 10 points in 13 playoff games en route to winning a silver medal in Denmark’s second league and spent eight games with the Danish Cup Champion Herning Blue Fox in Denmarks top league.
Last season, he won a IIHF U18 Div 2 gold medal with Demark, scoring two goals in five games and registered 15 goals and 29 points in 31 games split between his Herning II and U20 teams. The 18-year-old has exceptional hockey sense, and like most natural goal-scorers seems to know where the puck is going to be ahead of times. He is a stong skater that isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice in order to get rewarded, has a nice shot, a high compete level and battles hard as he is determined to make a difference each time he sets foot on the ice, has those soft hands, excellent vision, and is simply a handful for defenders to contain.
I had the chance to catch up with the great Danish sniper Kristoffer Lauridsen, for a quick Q and A.
Who has been your biggest help and influence in developing your game?
Kristoffer: I would have to say Dan Jensen (former player and Niklas D. Jensen’s father), who has coached me and really helped my game, as well as my family.
You have good wheels, and are a natural goal-scorer, but what do you see being your best attrbutes as a hockey player?
Kristoffer: I think my best attribute is just my overall understanding of the game.
You’ve scored a ton of goals over your young career at every level, is there one that stands out as your biggest?
Kristoffer: I don´t know, I scored a big goal against Latvia at the U18 WJC’s, but I don´t know if that was the biggest.
What is the highlight of your career thus far?
Kristoffer: Maybe winning the U18 WJC’s Division B last year, or just competing at the U18 WJC’s this year.
You spent sometime in Denmark’s top league this season playing against men, what was your ‘welcome moment’ to elite play?
Kristoffer: It was such a short period, so couldn’t really pick one, just playing against bigger and stronger competition I guess.
If you weren’t on the NHL Draft radar before, your outstanding performance at the recent IIHF U18’s has made you a hot prospect. Did you feel any added pressure going into the tourney to grab the scouts attention?
Kristoffer: No, I didn`t feel any added pressure, I knew it was a good chance to do it, but I knew as well that I just had to focus on my game to help the team and my own chances.
I know it’s an honor in itself to be drafted, but if you could pick the NHL team that selected you, who would you choose?
Kristoffer: Yes, it would be a huge honor, but if I had to pick a team it would be the New York Islanders.
What is the first thing you’d buy after signing your first pro contract?
Kristoffer: A new car.
Would you like to come play junior hockey in North America, or are you planning on staying in Denmark to develop?
Kristoffer: If somebody gave me on offer to come play in North America, I would consider it, depends on the offer. I have considered other places too, such as Sweden.
In your opinion, who is best player you’ve ever played with and against?
Kristoffer: The best player I’ve played with was Nicklas Jensen, and played against is Jordan Smotherman.
Any hidden talents?
Kristoffer: I’m actually a pretty good golfer.
Most embarrassing hockey moment?
Kristoffer: Losing to a really bad team in front of our whole school was pretty humbling.