Three Minutes With: new Predator Jonas Andersson…

This is the fourth in a multi-part series leading up to the 2010-11 regular season.

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To help bridge the gap between now and the regular season, we will be doing a series called Three Minutes With. Every installment will be with a different member of the Nashville Predators family. Could be players. Could be coaches. Could even be fans.

In the fourth installment we have one of the newest Nashville Predators, Jonas Andersson. Originally a second round pick by the Preds in 1999, Andersson never made it to the NHL. He spent some years with the minor league Milwaukee Admirals before moving back to his native Europe to play for a laundry list of professional clubs there. On July 1 (although we reported it almost a full month earlier) General Manager David Poile announced he had signed Andersson after his seven year hiatus from North American hockey. He appears poised to challenge for a second or third line winger spot come opening night.

Jeremy K. Gover: You’ve played in both North America and in Europe. Can you describe the differences between the two styles of play?
Jonas Andersson: It’s a different game for sure. Especially the KHL, it’s very controlled with a lot of skilled players. The skill level is amazing but slower. You bring the puck back a little bit more and, like I said, it’s a little more controlled in that sense but the speed is obviously not the same.

JG: What is it like being back with an NHL club?
JA: Oh it feels great. It’s always been my childhood dream to play in the NHL and that’s why I wanted to make it over here again. It feels good, I’m excited for training camp to start.

JG: You were a draft pick by this team back in 1999 and now you’re back. What has the path been like from then until now?
JA: Oh, there’s been some bumps in the road, for sure. Way too many injuries right when I turned pro there and things didn’t really turn out the way I wanted, or anyone else for that matter, so I’ve been working extremely hard for the last eight years. The last few years I’ve been able to stay injury-free so that’s why I think I’ve improved my game a lot. I’m excited for training camp to start and this is a great organization and a great place to be.

JG: It seems like all of a sudden, the Predators signed a bunch of skilled players. Yourself, Linus Klasen not to mention the guys who are already here in Steve Sullivan, JP Dumont, Colin Wilson, etc. Where do you see yourself fitting in among those guys?
JA: Oh I don’t look at it that way. I think it’s up to the coaches to decide. I know I can play both defense and offense so it’s really up to the coaches. I really learned that in the KHL last year, all you have to do is focus on your own game because that’s the only thing you can control. So, you have to contribute if that’s offensively or defensively that’s not up to me to decide but I’m ready to do both.

JG: Thanks so much.
JA: Thank you.