Right after his name has been shown to the fans all around the world, the Sabres fans were cheering for Sabres equipment managing staff to put his whole name on the jersey. It would be definitely a challange. But William von Barnekow Løfberg is not just guy with the long name. He is a hockey player and hopefully future Buffalo Sabre.
First of all I have to ask you about your name. Fans throughout Sabres worlds were a bit fascinated with the length of your name. von Barnekow-Løfberg sounds a bit medieval. Do you have some bigger history in your family? And what do you usually wear on your jersey?
Usually I use BARNEKOW or von BARNEKOW on my jersey. Actually my familly name goes back to 13th century.
How would you describe yourself as a player. What are your advantages and where do you need to get better?
I would describe myself more as a playmaker. I would like to become a better two-way player though.
There is another guy from Malmö that was drafted by the Sabres – Linus Cronholm. Do you know each other?
I know Linus and we have played together a few times.
There are a lot of swedish players in the Sabres organisation. Did anyone reach to you to congratuate you and welcome you here?
Not yet (smile).
Have you watched the draft? How did you get the news that you have been drafted by the Sabres. Did you have any clue that the Buffalo can draft you?
Of course I watched the draft. When I saw my name pop up on the screen that was a great feeling. So far so good. Before the draft, scouts from around 14 NHL have been in touch with me and one of the teams were the Sabres. I am very pleased that it was Buffalo who picked me. I can see myself playing for this team.
There will be a rookie camp in Buffalo. What do you want to show there?
Unfortunately I will not be attending the rookie camp this year. It is very hard for us – European players – to get into the US because of the COVID 19 restrictions. I am counting on going there next year. I have a whole year to evolve and take steps so I hope that I will show Sabres that I will be the right fit for this team.
Last season you have played in both swedish U20 and also 3rd league. What is the difference between these two leagues? What did the 3rd league experience gave you?
The 3rd league or Hockeyettan as it is called is a senior league. Having the chance to play with seniors gives a lot of knowledge and skills. The senior games are more tough and everything goes faster. I got a lot of trust and played all the time so that was a great season for me. I was also able to play a few times with Malmö SHL team during the year and also 2 games during the round of sixteen in playoffs.
How is it with you in next season? Where should you play?
As it is know I am playing for Malmö Redhawks in the SHL. But my main goal is to develop myself as a player, so I need a lot of match time. So it could end up with a combo of playing in SHL, Allsvenskan (2nd league) and U20.
Who is your hockey idol and style of which player you would like to use in your game?
Henrik Zetterberg or Nicklas Bäckström. I like their hockey IQ and what they do with the puck when they have him on the stick.
Are you in touch with Sabres organisation – do they have some plan for you where they would like to see improvements etc.?
Yes I am in touch with them and they will be following me closely over the next years. To make sure that I make progress.
How long (ideally) do we have to wait to see you taking step into the AHL/NHL?
Hmmm, that’s a tough question. I don’t know the answer but I hope it will be in the next three or four years.