Lightning's Alnefelt feels lucky to have landed in Tampa

A long way from home, Hugo Alnefelt didn't know what to expect when he arrived in Tampa. 

"The first impression when I got to Tampa was, it was really hot," he said. "I love it."

When the Swedish prospect skated out on to the ice at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum for the Lightning's development camp, he started to feel more at home. 

The Lightning drafted Alnefelt with the 71st overall pick. Growing up, he didn't have a favorite NHL team, but he does now. 

"It was just super exciting to hear your name," he said of draft night. "I'm just super happy that everything became what I hoped for. My family was just super happy for me."

Alnefelt played for the under-18 team in Sweden. When he arrived in Tampa, he didn't know much about the city or the team. There was one person he did know a lot about: The Lightning's Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy. 

"Yeah, I just feel like it's super good for me," said Alnefelt. "To have someone like that to look up to, that makes your goal even higher. That makes you work even harder I think."

Alnefelt has already been working hard. He led that under-18 to a gold medal in the World Championships earlier this year, compiling a 5-1 record and 2.75 goals against average. Now the work begins to reach his goal of playing in the NHL. 

"I would say that I'm a calm person and a calm goalie on the ice," said Alnefelt. "I like to compete, I like to stay on my feet as much as possible and make the important saves in games." 

That sounds a lot like Vasilevskiy, whose calm demeanor led the NHL last season with 39 wins. 

The Lightning's development camp is open to the public and continues through Saturday at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum.