Swedish draft review

By pbadmin

Robert Nilsson
Birthdate: January 10, 1985
Place of Birth: Calgary, Canada
Position: Center/Wing
Shoots: Left
Length: 5-11
Weight: 181
Team: Leksand
Drafted: NY Islanders, 1st round, 15th overall

Robert Nilsson was the first and only Swedish player to get drafted in the
first round in 2003 as the NY Islanders selected him 15th overall. Nilsson
has received a lot of attention in the media the last couple of years and people
are hoping he can become the next Swedish superstar in the NHL. If that will happen remains to be seen but Nilsson has a very rare combination of skill
and talent. He has exceptional hockey sense, a great passing game, fine technical
skills and plays a mature game. Robert could work some on his foot speed as
well as on his defensive game.

Loui Eriksson
Birthdate: July 17, 1985
Place of Birth: Gothenburg
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-1
Weight: 183
Team: Frölunda
Drafted: Dallas Stars, 2nd round, 33rd overall

The Dallas Stars selected Frölunda’s talented youngster Loui Eriksson early
in the second round. Before this season Eriksson was not among the more well-known
prospects born 1985 but after a very strong season in the junior league and
even more so with the Swedish U-18 team his stock was sky-high just prior to
the draft. Eriksson who will see some ice time in the elite league next season
is a very all-round player. He is a fine skater, a capable scorer and passer,
he works hard and doesn’t mind playing physical. Eriksson has the potential
to become a strong two-way, second line player in the future.

Misha Joukov
Birthdate: January 3, 1985
Place of Birth: St Petersburg, Russia
Position: Center/Wing
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-3
Weight: 198
Team: HV 71
Drafted: Edmonton Oilers, 3rd round, 72nd overall

The 6-3 Russian who will likely get his Swedish citizenship this year could
very well turn out to be a steal. The Oilers have a very talented player on
their hands with a huge upside. Joukov was Arboga’s third best scorer (23 points)
this season and will move up to the SEL and HV 71 next season. The 18-year-old
center/winger has great hockey sense, he controls the puck very well, has a
good balance on his skates and reads the play very well. He can deliver excellent
passes as well as put the puck in the net. Swedish fans are now hoping that
Joukov will become a Swedish citizen before Christmas so he can join Robert
Nilsson and Alexander Steen and compete in the World Junior Championships.

Andreas Valdix
Birthdate: December 6, 1984
Place of Birth: Malmö
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Length: 5-11
Weight: 168
Team: MIF Redhawks
Drafted: Washington Capitals, 4th round, 109th overall

Entering the second day draft, Valdix was no. 1 on Washington’s list of wanted prospects.
The speedy left wing has come off a solid rookie season in the SEL where Robert
Nilsson and Nicklas Danielsson were the only ones younger than Valdix. Valdix
scored “only” two goals in 39 games this season but the numbers would
have definitely increased if he had seen more ice time. Next season he should
have a shot at seeing third line action and hopefully he’ll be able to bulk up
during summer. Valdix needs to add some more weight and since
he is already now good at creating scoring chances out of nothing, he’ll be
even tougher to stop with an extra 10-20 lbs.

Liam Lindström
Birthdate: January 12, 1985
Place of Birth: Edmonton, Canada
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-0
Weight: 190
Team: Sundsvall
Drafted: Phoenix Coyotes, 4th round, 115th overall

Liam is the son of former NHLer Willy Lindström. He has signed with
Sundsvall in the second tier league after getting very little ice time with Mora
this past season. The Phoenix Coyotes have in Lindström a very smart and
hardworking player. Lindström is not a flashy forward nor
one to expect astonishing numbers from. He looks like a future third line center
that enjoys playing physical, even a little bit dirty at times. Offensively
Lindström is a good playmaker but should try to improve his scoring ability.

Mattias Karlsson
Birthdate: April 15, 1985
Place of Birth: Storå
Position: Defense
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-3
Weight: 208
Team: Brynäs
Drafted: Ottawa Senators, 4th round, 135th overall

The Senators got their hands on Brynäs-defenseman Mattias Karlsson in the
fourth round. Karlsson has come off a great year in the junior league being
among the most productive defensemen in the league. He has great size, likes
to use his body and has good timing in his hits. Karlsson is quite responsible
in his own end and is also gifted offensively. He joins the rush, has a strong
passing game and an accurate shot.
Karlsson has a lot of potential and there is a chance he’ll get to see ice time
with Brynäs in the SEL next season.

Kalle Olsson
Birthdate: January 31, 1985
Place of Birth: Munkedal
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Length: 5-11
Weight: 178
Team: Frölunda
Drafted: Edmonton Oilers, 5th round, 147th overall

One of Frölunda’s many talented forwards. Olsson had a breakthrough season
in the junior league this year scoring 22 goals and 13 assists in 30 games.
He also played for Sweden in the U-18 Championships where he registered an assist
in six games. Olsson plays a pretty physical game, has a fine scoring touch and
is responsible in both ends. He will most likely spend another season with Frölunda’s
U-20 team and since he already this season was fifth in the league in points he
could have some serious impact next season.

Nicklas Danielsson
Birthdate: December 7, 1984
Place of Birth: Uppsala
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Right
Length: 6-1
Weight: 179
Team: Brynäs
Drafted: Vancouver Canucks, 5th round, 160th overall

Danielsson is an offensively gifted winger with a good scoring touch. He is the first Swede
drafted by the Canucks since 1999, when the team selected the Sedin twins
second and third overall. Danielsson’s upside is nowhere near the Sedins but he has
already at a very young age seen quality ice-time in the SEL with Brynäs
registering 4 assists in 26 games. His numbers in the junior league were more
impressive; 21 goals and 12 assists in 21 games.
We can expect the smooth skating Danielsson to see more responsibilities next
season and he should be a lock for the Swedish WJC team.

Andreas Sundin
Birthdate: March 15, 1984
Place of Birth: Linköping
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-0
Weight: 186
Team: Linköping
Drafted: Detroit Red Wings, 6th round, 170th overall

Sundin was a tremendous scoring machine in the junior league (tier II). Since
he didn’t play in SuperElit (the highest junior level in Sweden) he did not
receive as much attention as most other prospects, which is a reason why a lot
of people were surprised when the Red Wings drafted him 170th overall. Looking
at his skill-set he is very talented offensively. He has a fine scoring touch
and a good shot, he can pass the puck, he is a strong skater and has good technical
skills. Sundin played eight games in the SEL last season (1 assist) but still qualifies
as a rookie next season and could very well put up pretty decent numbers with
Linköping.

Christopher Heino-Lindberg
Birthdate: January 29, 1985
Place of Birth: Helsingborg
Position: Goalkeeper
Catches: Right
Length: 6-0
Weight: 165
Team: Hammarby/Vallentuna
Drafted: Montreal Canadiens, 6th round, 177th overall

The most talented Swedish goalie born 1985 and the only one drafted this year.
“Heino” is very agile and has good reflexes. He has also a good technique
and is in many ways spectacular to watch. He makes those big saves and is always
very involved in the game.
Heino belongs to Hammarby in the second tier league but will be lent out to Vallentuna
(also in the second tier league) as soon as he recovers from an injury that will
likely keep him out of play two to three months into the season.

Johan Andersson
Birthdate: May 18, 1984
Place of Birth: Motala
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-1
Weight: 207
Team: Troja-Ljungby
Drafted: Chicago Blackhawks, 6th round, 181st overall

Chicago’s sixth round Johan Andersson was one of the major Swedish surprises during
the draft. Andersson played for Troja-Ljungby this season scoring 8 goals and
4 assists in 20 games. Unfortunately he missed plenty of games due to an injury,
but he is healthy now and actually doing very well
at Chicago’s prospect camp. Andersson is a strong center with good on-ice vision.
He can put the puck in the net as well as deliver it. Andersson might very well
get a breakthrough in the second tier league this season if he remains healthy.

Dragan Umicevic
Birthdate: October 9, 1984
Place of Birth: Köping
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Right
Length: 6-0
Weight: 193
Team: Södertälje
Drafted: Edmonton Oilers, 6th round, 184th overall

Along with Robert Nilsson, Umicevic is the most technically skilled Swedish player drafted.
The Edmonton Oilers selected three Swedish forwards this season and all of them
have a lot of potential. Umicevic can be a force offensively but has displayed
some inconsistency problems. When he gets it all together he is a spectacular
player to watch who can create scoring chances out of nothing. Next season
Umicevic will likely spend most of his time on Södertälje’s third or
fourth line where he’ll be a competing with a bunch of young players for ice time.

Stefan Blom
Birthdate: July 30, 1985
Place of Birth: Stockholm
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-2
Weight: 192
Team: Djurgården
Drafted: Detroit Red Wings, 6th round, 194th overall

Another surprising pick signed Håkand Andersson and the Detroit Red Wings.
Blom has good size and is a pretty strong defenseman. While he has so far showed
very little flair offensively he is solid in his own end and plays very simple.
Definitely a long-shot to make the NHL but Wings scout Andersson has a history of
selecting unknown players that turn out to be really good. Blom who scored 4
goals and 2 assist with Hammarby in the junior league has moved on to Djurgården.

Elias Granath
Birthdate: September 6, 1985
Place of Birth: Borlänge
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-1
Weight: 174
Team: Leksand
Drafted: Dallas Stars, 6th round, 196th overall

Granath is a talented defenseman that plays a mature game. He is very gifted
defensively but has some upside offensively as well. This season he put up 4
assists in 29 games with Leksand’s junior team and a goal in six games with team
Sweden in the U-18 Championships. Granath is a very solid defenseman that always
chooses the easiest way to transport the puck. Furthermore he sees the ice well
and can deliver fine passes. He has a summer contract with Leksand’s SEL team and with a good training camp
he might play in the SEL next season.

Linus Videll
Birthdate: May 5, 1985
Place of Birth: Stockholm
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-3
Weight: 216
Team: Södertälje
Drafted: Colorado Avalanche, 7th round, 204th overall

The Colorado Avalanche selected Södertälje’s 6-3 winger Linus Videll
in the seventh round of the draft. Many experts believed Videll would be gone by
the fourth round seeing as he has great size and the potential to become a power
forward. He is not a great skater but he has a nose for the net, good puckhandling
skills and a great reach. Videll’s performances in the junior league this season
were somewhat inconsistent but he played a big role on the Swedish U18-team
throughout the season where he was actually the one to score the most points
overall.

Tomas Kollar
Birthdate: February 25, 1982
Place of Birth: Stockholm
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Length: 6-2
Weight: 210
Team: Djurgården
Drafted: Detroit Red Wings, 7th round, 226th overall

Detroit’s seventh round pick Tomas Kollar quite recently signed with SEL team Djurgården.
He played for Hammarby in the second tier league this season and was eighth on the
team with 22 points in 41 games. Overager Kollar is on the other hand not one
to expect a lot of points from, he looks more like a future checking line player.
He has great a work-ethic, is a strong skater, he likes to stand in front of
the net and has an edge to his game.

Alexander Hulth
Birthdate: November 19, 1984
Place of Birth: Borlänge
Position: Center
Shoots: Right
Length: 6-3
Weight: 204
Team: HV 71
Drafted: San Jose Sharks, 8th round, 236th overall

The Sharks selected HV 71’s two-way center Alexander Hulth in the eighth round.
Hulth has NHL size but must still develop his offensive game a bit.
He contributes offensively but could do so even more. He has
a good work-ethic and a good attitude and could perhaps become a solid role player in the future. Hulth will be playing his first SEL season
this year.

Tobias Enström
Birthdate: November 5, 1984
Place of Birth: Nordingrå
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
Length: 5-10
Weight: 170
Team: MoDo
Drafted: Atlanta Thrashers, 8th round, 239th overall

The biggest steal of the draft? Perhaps so. Most experts believed that Enström,
despite being only 5-10, would get drafted in the first four rounds. The Atlanta
Thrashers now have a defenseman with a huge upside and already at the age of
18 he is an established SEL-defenseman.
Enström has basically all it takes to become a fine NHLer in the future,
except size. He is as smart as they come, has great hockey sense, a strong skater,
plays well at both ends and has a good attitude. If he continues to develop
well (he was the Rookie of the Year this past season) he will compensate for his
size with his skill-set and become a very solid NHL-defenseman.

Mikael Johansson
Birthdate: June 27, 1985
Place of Birth: Arvika
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Length: 5-10
Weight: 178
Team: Skåre
Drafted: Detroit Red Wings, 9th round, 289th overall

Johansson played for Arvika in the Swedish third tier league this past season.
Despite his young age he was one of the key-players on the team scoring 41 points
in 30 games.
Johansson plays center and although his 5-10 isn’t really intimidating, he does
play physical and has an edge to his game. Like most Swedish players he is a
good skater and plays well through traffic. Offensively he is a fine play-maker
and he did put up points on regular basis with Arvika.
Johansson is obviously a long-term project. He will play in the Tier III hockey
next season as well, although then with Färjestad’s farmteam Skåre. So we can’t really expect Johansson to move up to the SEL or second tier league
for yet a season or two.