MODO LIKELY TO REMAIN AS ELITSERIEN POWERHOUSE IN 99/00
With MoDo running away with the number 1 spot in the regular Elitserien-season and them probably having the among the largest number of NHL-drafted players on their team, one has to wonder whether they will remain as strong next season, or if NHL-teams will sign MoDo’s keyplayers and have them take a shot at the NHL.
The players that have proven themselves in the Elitserien, and could make it to the NHL even next season are the following:
Hans Jonsson, D, 25, 6’2, 190, 32-3-3-6, +11, 38 PIM. Pittsburgh – 286th 1993.
A defenseman without any obvious weaknesses who is strong in his own zone. Not patricularly physical, but mature and calm with the puck. Could be able to step right in, in the NHL and be a solid 4th- to 6th defenseman. Only question is how big his desire to play in the NHL is, and how big the Penguins desire is to bring him over.
Samuel Pahlsson, C, 20, 5’11, 200, 41-14-25-29, +15, 38 PIM. Colorado – 176th 1996.
Was hyped during the summer and the pre-season as the next big star in Sweden, but started out the season struggling to score. He regained his touch after winger Magnus Wernblom returned from suspension, and is now on his way to putting up respectable numbers. He is ready physically, and can throw the occasional hit. He won’t hesitate to take a beating in front of the net either. He won’t be more than average in the NHL, but he will likely make it as a third- or fourth liner.
Per Svartvadet, RW, 22, 6’2, 210, 41-6-20-26, +6, 28 PIM. Dallas – 139th 1993.
Svartvadet is a reliable team-first kind of player, who could make it in the NHL as a defensive specialist. There isn’t much of an offensive upside, but he is responsible defensively and will do what the coach tells him. If Dallas loses one or more of its role-players through expansion, trades, retirements or whatever, they could try to bring in Svartvadet and see if he is NHL-material. Could be a player, but a third-liner at best.
Magnus Wernblom, LW, 25, 6’0, 205, 33-15-10-25, +11, 40 PIM. Los Angeles – 207th 1992.
Emotional leader in MoDo, and a rugger power winger in Elitserien. He is agressive and a relentless worker. He has decent scoring-touch and is starting to establish himself on the Swedish National Team. Given his age, it is doubtful if the Kings are still interested in bringing him over to the NHL. The obvious advantage of bringing a 25-year old over is ofcourse that they know what they’ll get: A fearless, hard-working players who could step right in with the Kings.
I am omitting the Sedin-twins from this list because they have publically stated that they will remain in Sweden next year. Also, I don’t think that they are ready for the NHL. They are still too weak physically, and they need to show that they’re able to take a beating. Even though it’s no NHL, they will be interesting to watch during the playoffs.
Of the four players listed, I think there’s only a small chance that Magnus Wernlbom will be brought over. Hans Jonsson has been close to a contract with the Penguins in past summers, but negotiations have fallen through for some reason. Per Svartvadet is a leader in MoDo and a key-player and the question is if he’s willing to give that up to be a marginal player in the NHL.
Samuel Påhlsson however should be on his way to the NHL. He might not make the team right out of training-camp, but if he shows enough determination it should only be a matter of time before the Avalanche is forced to give him a shot. The depth-players will get more and more important each year with the league expanding.