Bombers Ink Irish-Born SuperElit Silver Medalist Frej McLoughlin

by Ron White

The Long Beach Bombers are thrilled to announce the signing of center, Frej McLoughlin. The Dublin, Ireland-born forward moved to Sweden at age 5, and has played the last few season in the Växjö Lakers HC system. Born June 17, 1997, McLoughlin stands at 5’9, weighing 178lbs. McLoughlin is the sixth new Swedish player to sign for the 2017-2018 season. 

 

Last season, McLoughlin’s Växjö team won the Silver Medal in Sweden’s top J20 league, SuperElit. Upon winning the J20 SuperElit Southern Conference Championship, they were placed into the Top-10, for the 2nd half of the season. They lost in the finals to MODO, and McLoughlin was 2nd in scoring with 10 points in the Top-10 stage. His 10 Assists tied him for 6th most, and he was also Top-25 in Faceoff Percentage. McLoughlin finished the season with 15 Points in 38 Games Played. In total, he has played 79 games at the SuperElit level. Prior to that, in 2014-2015, McLoughlin was 2nd on the team at the J18 Elit level, with 30 Points in 35 Games Played.

 

Växjö Lakers HC is the same organization that Bombers alums Patrik Johansson and Michael Sjölin played for, prior to their time in Long Beach. This past season, Växjö forward Jonas Røndberg, was selected in the 3rd round of the NHL Draft by the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights. Meanwhile, forward Nils Carnbäck, son of former Anaheim Mighty Duck, Patrik Carnbäk, signed an SHL contract, after playing 15 games with the club’s top professional league team, in 2016-2017. McLoughlin's step-father, Janne Karlsson, was a New York Rangers draft pick in 1982, that played over 200 games in the SHL (Sweden’s top professional league). He has also held positions such as Head Coach, General Manager, & Director of Player Development, in the SHL, Allsvenskan (2nd highest professional league), and SuperElit for the past 15 years. Mike Sjölin described McLoughlin as, “One of the smartest players I’ve ever seen.” 

 

Long Beach Bombers Head Coach & General Manager, Chris White, added, “Frej is a huge signing for us, plain and simple. We had a fantastic group of offensive stars, last year, and this is one new player that we know will slot into our top-6 and special teams. I think Bombers fans can expect to see a little bit of Anton Bowallius, from the playmaking aspect, and a hint of Joel Larsson, in terms of the responsible two-way center with a good sense of the game. Frej has not only lots of experience in SuperElit, but in big-game situations. He is looking to play college hockey in North America, and I think we will provide him with a wonderful platform to accomplish that goal. This is, without a doubt, our biggest new player signing, thus far. We couldn’t be happier about adding such a quality young man, and hockey player. I can tell by our discussions that Frej is going to be very coachable, and be a hard-working leader on the team.”

 

 

Frej’s Player Profile Page:http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=228905

 

 

 

Q & A with Frej McLoughlin:

 

 

 

Last year, your team (Växjö Lakers) earned the silver medal in Sweden's J20 SuperElit. What was the playoff experience like, and how difficult was the Finals loss to MODO?

 

The playoffs were fun and competitive. The finals loss was hard, we were defeated in penalties, in a tight game.

 

 

There were 13 SuperElit players drafted into the NHL, this June (including your teammate, Jonas Røndberg - 3rd Round to Las Vegas Golden Knights). Do you remember any of these top players, in particular, that Bombers fans should keep an eye on in the future?

 

There were a lot of great players last year, but I have to say Jonas.

 

 

The second half of your season was very impressive, despite the level of competition rising, as the SuperElit's Top-10 teams battle for the Championship. Your point production and face-off percentage increased significantly. What was the difference in the second half, for you?

 

The first half I was injured a lot of the time. It took a while for me to get to the level I wanted to be, but then it went well.

 

 

How would you describe yourself as a player?

 

I am a smart player.

 

What are you most looking forward to, both on and off the ice, this season in Long Beach?

 

Play some hockey and have some fun.