meets Rok Leber meets Rok Leber

14 Dec 2010 | Henrik Lundqvist got to talk with Rok Leber, one of the stars of the Slovenian U20 National team currently playing the WJC Division I at home in Bled. Leber who plays for Lidingö in Swedish Division 2 was the scoring leader of the World U18 Championship Div II in Ukraine last season when he scored 23 points in only 5 games. talked to Rok Leber after the first game of the World Juniors Division I when Croatia was defeated 11-3 in a game where he scored one goal and got two assists.

Q: Slovenia got a great start of this tournament with an 11-3 win against Croatia. What is your goal with this tournament?
A: Yeah the start was really good for us. It´s always important to have good start, it´s much easier to play other games then! In my personal opinion I think we have good chances to get promoted, because we have really good team this year and we haven´t lost a game yet! But Denmark, Austria and Kazakhstan they have really good teams as well, so it´s going to be a pretty tough tournament! We would be satisfied with one of first three places!

Q: Is it important to play a tournament like this at home in Slovenia?

A: It´s definitely important for developing hockey in Slovenia. And also for us players. We can show our skills to our nation! And it´s always nice to play home in front of your own crowd!

Q: If you win promotion, what would you expect of the ´´real´´ World Juniors next season?

A: I don´t know what can we expect if we go to real world juniors, because we have never been there! It would be for first time in our history! But I think if we stay in the elite division that would be probably the greatest success for Slovenian junior hockey!

Q: Last year you played the World U18 Championship Division 2 and scored 23 points in 5 games. Huge difference I understand, but is it possible to compare that tournament with this?

A: Maybe we can compare just few games, like if you remember last year, last game against Ukraine (really hard game) and this year´s first game against Croatia. But overall we can not compare this two championships, it´s totally different thing!

Q: What is your goal as a hockey player?

A: I want to become a professional hockey player, to play in one of the highest hockey leauges of the World, like is Elitserien, KHL, NLA, DEL and of course NHL!

Q: Do you think you will have a chance to get to play the senior World Championship in May?

A: It would be really nice to get a chance to play for senior team or at least get invited to try outs, but I don´t think so! It´s really hard, there are so many good young players that are waiting for this opportunity! But you never know, maybe I get a chance and if I get it I ll take it 100%!

Q: Why does a young Slovenian player move to Sweden to play hockey? And why to Lidingö and not to one of the big clubs?

A: I decide to go to Sweden because there is a better level of hockey, better coaches ( they have more knowledge ), better practice, you can improve your skills more...and I think is better for my future in hockey, + is good life experience! Why Lidingö? Lidingö was the first chance I got it and I didn´t think twice. I must say that Lidingö was a perfect team for me when I came, because I was only 16 years old and my coach likes my style of playing and he gave me much playing time in J18 and I also played few games for senior team! When you are young you need much playing time and I got that so I´m  satisfied with that, so I could improve my skills! But in the future I have to move to a bigger club if I want to become a professional player! I hope I will manage that after this season.

Q: What is it like to play in a foreign country as a junior? Is it something you would recommend to other young talents?

A: I like it a lot, I don´t know about other guys that play away, but I think it´s really good! In the beginning it´s hard, because you are young and without your parents and you don´t know much about living on your own, but after some time you get used to it, you make friends and then everything is much easier!

Yeah, if you want to succeed you have to work hard and believe in what are you doing!!!

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