WHERE’S THE GRIT ?
Top prospects for the 1999 NHL Draft Daniel and Henrik Sedin has established themselves as Elitserien-regulars this season while playing together on a scoring-line in MoDo along with Czech national-team veteran Jan Alinc, and they’re not doing a bad job if you look at their stats. Daniel has two goals and five assists and is a plus five in nine games played, and Henrik has scored once, assisted on three and is a plus six in nine games.
These are very good numbers for two 18-year olds in a defensive- minded league, and their stock for the draft cannot possibly have been hurt by the fine start to the season that the Sedin’s have had. All the skills are in place, they both have very good vision and they can pass the puck excellently. They also seem to fully grasp the team-concept and they have already learned how to play defensive hockey.
There’s one thing lacking though, something you could immediately see in Peter Forsberg when he entered the Elitserien as a 17-year old : The will to win at all costs, the emotion.
The Sedin’s will skate as much as anyone in any game, but they will just not use their bodies to check their opponents. ‘Always use the poke-check’ seems to be the mantra. Opposing defensemen who choose to bodycheck one of them usually gets the puck quite easily as there seems to be almost no resistance on the Sedin’s part to give it up the minute someone comes in contact with them. This might sound a bit harsh, but so far in their elitserien-careers finding them knocked down on the ice is not an uncommon sight. It should of course be noted that they are playing against men much stronger than they are, and not teenagers. That’s one more reason why it will be interesting to see how the Sedin’s handle a bruising Canadian defenseman in the Junior World Championships.
The Sedin’s also have very long fuses. While some may contend that this is a good thing because they won’t hurt the team with stupid penalties, it can also be a negative if they can’t stand up for themselves and hit back, either in the form of a glove in the face, or a hard hit along the boards. No team in the Elitserien carry any form of enforcers, and physical play is virtually non-existent this season with the new zero-tolerance policy from the referees, so while playing in Sweden the Sedin’s temperament, or lack thereof, will only help MoDo, but what will happen when they meet the first guy to shadow them in an NHL-game – possibly someone who will do whatever necessary to stop them ? Will they just tolerate it, or will they stand up for themselves and state that they won’t tolerate such treatment ? Time will tell.
This article represents something the Sedin’s must be very tired of, namely being referred to as “The Sedin’s” instead of Henrik Sedin or Daniel Sedin, but as players they are very similar and there’s very little separating them. Henrik, the center, is listed to be a bit bigger (6’2, 194) than Daniel, the right winger, who is listed at 6’1, 180. Daniel is being identified as the brother with the better scoring-touch.