Umicevic is the no. 8 ranked prospect on the Swedish Prospects list. The ranking and the articles have been compiled by Johan Nilsson, Robert Blomdahl,
Zoran Manojlovic, Anders Östberg and Mikael Hermansson.
#8 DRAGAN UMICEVIC
Place of Birth: Köping
Position: Forward / Left Wing
Umicevic has been among the very best players in the Swedish junior league for
two seasons now. He displayed his exceptional talent for the first time during
the 2001-02 season. In 36 games Södertälje’s young left wing put
up impressive 20 goals and 31 assists. With his 51 points he was only one behind
scoring leader Fredrik Hynning (AIK) who amassed 52 points.
This past season Umicevic had to settle being eighth in the scoring race with 19 goals, 14 assists
in 24 games. Part of the reason why he wasn’t ranked higher is the fact
that he played several games with Södertälje’s senior team and
therefore wasn’t able to compete in all of the games in the junior league.
Umicevic performed well in the SEL as well. With 2 goals and 3 assists in 22 games
he wasn’t among the top rookies in the league but nonetheless had a solid
first season with the big boys.
Umicevic’s upside is huge. He possesses a lot of raw skill. First of all
Umicevic is a strong skater. His top speed is perhaps not spectacular but he accelerates
well. Umicevic can also be a magician with the puck. His technical skills are
extraordinary and he is among those players that you can always expect an unpredictable
When it comes to scoring he is basically just as good at delivering the puck as
actually finishing a play.
The physical aspect of his game could use some improvement, especially in view
of the fact that his game includes speed and creativity. With greater strength
he’ll be even tougher to stop.
Umicevic is a natural talent and if he only works hard and has his mind set he’ll
become an elite player.
The fact that Umicevic has already seen quality ice time in the SEL has increased
his stock. He has proven that he handles the play in the elite league fairly well
and has the skills to become an offensive force. If Umicevic is still available
in the fourth or fifth round there are probably a lot of teams who will be willing
to pick him.
There are currently 12 forwards in Södertälje and barring new signings
it means that Umicevic will likely see quite a bit of ice-time in the SEL, if
not on the third line then certainly on the fourth. There are some young players
that Umicevic will compete with for ice-time, namely Bobbie Hagelin and Slovakian
player Stanislav Valach. Umicevic has however already played a season in the SEL
unlike the other two and has therefore an obvious advantage.
Umicevic is by no means ready to step in right away but he is still perhaps more
ready than most of the Swedish prospects. He is also among the oldest that are
eligible to get drafted (being an 84, while most are born 85). If Umicevic breaks through this season, which is not totally out of reach, he could be ready
for the NHL in two years.
|2000-2001||Södertälje J-18||J18 Allsvenskan||14||8||5||13||49|
|2001-2002||Team Sweden U-18||WJC-18||8||2||1||3||8|