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Article — Successful move from DIF: ”Confidence booster.”  Written by Johannes Hägglund, hockeynews.se. (English Translation)


After having been scorless for over a year, David Bernhardt has scored in two straight matches.

The 21-year-old has gained a greater role in Växjö and is pleased that it was a move from Djurgården.

”It was a great self-confidence to come here,” he said to HockeyNews.se.

David Bernhardt has a very good week behind him. Växjö won against both Timrå (5-1) and HV71 (3-2), and he scored in both games.

”Against HV I had mom, dad and girlfriend here. You get extra pumped when people want to come and watch,” he said.

Before last week, Bernhardt had been scoreless for over a year (December 2017).

”I got a puck against Timrå and the self-confidence increased. Then the whole team played pretty well in these games. Then it will be easier for me to dare more,” he said.

What do you think you have done better?

”We have defensemen that have been more aggressive and forwards that put on more pressure and hold on to puck. Then the attacks become longer, you tire out your opponents and then it opens up playing space,” he said.

David Bernhardt started the season in Djurgården, a club he has represented since 2012. He made his debut in SHL 2016/17 and the same season he also took place in the Swedish WJC team. Last year, he recorded 11 points in 51 matches and in mid-February 2018 he signed a new one-year contract with the club. The start of this season, however, did not go as he intended, and he had difficulty getting the playing time he wanted. In the beginning of 2019, he instead signed a contract that extends over the season 2020/21 with the reigning champion Växjö. Bernhardt estimates that Växjö offered him a longer contract .

”It’s nice to secure for the future. It shows that they believe in me,” he said.

What was your reaction when you heard about Växjö’s interest?

”The first thought was of course to come here and play more. Have a team who believes in me and sees the strengths,” he said.

Did it feel that it was not so at the end of Djurgården?

”I felt that I ended up in a compartment where I and some other defensemen rolled into a place. You have to play, to develop. I felt that it was the right choice [to move on],” he said.

What are you looking for in your game?

”I want to show my strengths, which is powerplay and the offensive role. Djurgården had a lot of good PP defensemen. Here I get more out of my playing style and I get to show who I am,” he said.

What were your thoughts when you received little playing time and the points did not happen?

”It was clear you start to think. As it felt in Djurgården, it was not good. Then you start thinking about the offensive forces you have, if that is enough. If you get self-confidence, it will come automatically and then you start playing better. It was a great self-confidence to come [to Växjö],” he said.

Is there any point where you felt it turned and the confidence returned?

”It has come more and more. You know, when a team like Växjö, who has been so good in recent years, wants you and you plays a lot, the self-confidence comes,” he said.

Tomorrow, a special game is waiting for the 21-year-old, when Växjö is visited by Djurgården.

”I have many old friends there and I have played there almost all my life. It is fun to meet them and meet everyone again,” he said.

Swedish version: Lyckad flytt från DIF: ”Självförtroendehöjare”

Photo: Magnus Lejhall, Bildbyrån