Joel Östman became the first European-born player to play for the University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey team, when he made his CIS debut on January 17 during No.2 ranked Alberta’s 4-3 win over UBC in Vancouver. The newest Golden Bear will play his first home game in Clare Drake Arena this Saturday when the Bears host the Mount Royal Cougars at 3:00 p.m.
Originally from Täby, Sweden, Östman joined the Golden Bears in early January after initiating contact with Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers in August of 2013.
The 6’3” and 210 lbs defenceman previously played with Sundsvall in the Swedish division 1 league, but he also spent time with Timara IK of the Swedish Elite League and with Sweden’s U-17 and U-18 teams. He recorded 21 points in 70 games with Sundsvall.
“He had heard of the Golden Bears reputation while playing in Sweden, and decided to reach out to me to see if there was a way to join our program,” said Herbers.
“He is exactly what you think of when you think about a Swedish defenceman,” Herbers continued. “He has great hockey sense, he’s big, which is an element we need, he skates well, and he can move the puck. With the graduation of three of our defenceman after this season, we think he can step in and become a contributor.”