The next time Ross Olsson gets into a scrape, his opponent doesn’t have to drop the gloves – just pull out a jar of pickles. That’s right, as you’ll read later on, Olsson, a 24-about-to-turn-25-year-old forward for the Worcester Railers doesn’t like pickles. Scratch that. He loathes them.
“I hate pickles,” he said.
There’s no real reason for it. He simply can’t stand them, but more on that in the Q&A part of this profile.
Olsson, a Massachusetts native who grew up in Billerica, went to Endicott College in Beverly and made his pro debut last March with the Railers, may hate pickles, but he loves golfing and the beach. Which may explain why he has, for the most part, stayed around Massachusetts, save for a couple years and some change playing junior hockey in the Midwest and Alaska.
“Just good opportunities around here,” Olsson, the younger brother of an older sister, said of remaining pretty much a homebody in the Bay State. “Especially with hockey, especially Endicott, which is right on the beach.”
As a freshman, Olsson was joining Endicott just as they launched a hockey program. He played for coach R.J. Tolan.
“I couldn’t say too many bad things about him,” Olsson said.
Nor could he say anything bad about the setting.
“Three beaches and a college campus. That was an easy sell,” he said. “I knew a couple buddies going to Endicott as well. It was pretty fun. That was a big reason I stuck around Massachusetts. It helps that my parents were able to go to most of my games.”
It also helps that there are plenty of golf courses to choose from. Olsson is an avid golfer who may, depending on how his hockey career shapes up, someday pursue amateurs. In the meantime, he enjoys hitting the links with his pals. Red Tail Golf Club in Devens, Four Oaks in Dracut, Shining Rock in Northbridge, Cyprian Keyes in Boylston – all are on Olsson’s list of favorite courses to play. He and his friends also make the occasional trip to Florida, where one of them has a place. Olsson said he’s “like a 4 or 5” handicap, although in the off-season, that probably swells to 7 or 8.
“A couple years ago, I probably got down to around 2, when I was playing for my high school,” he said.
Right now, it’s all about hockey, and while the Railers rested at the bottom of the North Division standings at 4-7-0 heading into a Thursday night home game with the Brampton Beast, Olsson believes better days are ahead.
“We have a good, close-knit group of guys, all the way from veterans down to rookies,” he said of his teammates, many of whom live together at the Edge at Union Station. “We’re always hanging out together, which is nice. We’re all in the same apartment, for the most part. I like to think we’re a pretty close-knit team right now. It might not be working on right now on the ice. We’re having a little struggle right now. I think in the long run, being a tight-knit group, I think it will work out.
“Having a little failure before success, I’d rather have that than success before failure at the end of the season.”
Name: Ross Olsson
Team: Worcester Railers
If you weren’t playing hockey: I’d probably be coaching hockey. If hockey wasn’t in my life, it would be golfing. I’d probably be coaching hockey or trying golf, for sure. I just want to give back to the game or what not.
Favorite hobby: Golf. That and I love going to the beach. Just hanging out. I’m usually with a couple of my buddies. I got to really love it at Endicott. I was spoiled there, but I don’t like going to the beach when I’m golfing. You don’t want to be in the sand when you’re golfing.
Favorite food: Ooh, favorite food, huh? I’m going with, I love steak tips with mashed potatoes.
Favorite restaurant: That’s a good one. There’s two spots in Beverly, maybe even three, I would always go to. Cala’s in Manchester, Hale Street Tavern in Beverly. They had fantastic wings. Then the last place is a little throw-down Irish pub in Beverly, Fibber McGee’s. It was just a cool little spot. Good wings, good sandwiches, good French fries, good beer. The place to go after a game.
Favorite place to hang out: If it’s warm out, it would be the beach, for sure.
Favorite band/singer: I’m a big country guy. I’ll say Kenny Chesney or Old Dominion, one of those two. I’ve seen them both in concert and they’re both unbelievable. I do like Shania Twain, too.
Favorite song: “Good Vibes” by Chris Janson
Favorite actor: Will Ferrell, hilarious. I can’t wait to watch “Elf” soon.
Favorite movie and how many times you’ve seen it: I would probably say “Elf,” to be honest, during Christmas season. I’ve seen it maybe 10 times. That’s just during the Christmas season, though.
Favorite social media platform: Either Twitter (@rolsson17) or Instagram (rolsson13)
Something most people don’t know about you: It would probably have to do with food. I don’t know if a lot of people don’t know, but a lot of people get disappointed or confused that I don’t like pickles or lettuce. But I like spinach or arugula. But I don’t like lettuce and I hate pickles. People will get pretty mad about that one.