Elite Prospects’ 2004 NHL Entry Draft continues with the players ranked 11-15.
The ranking and the profiles have been compiled by Johan Nilsson, Anders Östberg, Tomas Berg and Zoran Manojlovic.
#15 – Marcus Nyberg
Marcus Nyberg has come off his first season as a regular in the U20 junior league and aside from registering 2 goals and 3 assists with Luleå, he represented the Swedish national team in the U18 WJC.
He is a strong skating defenseman with fine technical skills. Nyberg is not very strong physically and that is something he must work on. However, he has at times this season been quite effective using his body, but needs to play with determination more often. He could become a pretty good two-way defenseman in the future and should see increased responsibilty next season as Luleå’s top defenseman Savilahti-Nagander moves up to the SEL giving Nyberg a more important role with the juniors.
As for Nyberg’s chances of seeing ice time in the SEL during the 2004-05
campaign, they are slim at this point. Luleå has eight defensemen signed for next season, several of which are young, talented and ahead of Nyberg
on the depth chart. Nyberg should however be a key player in the junior league.
|Team Sweden U18||WJC-18||6||0||0||0||4|
#14 – Alexander Bergström
Bergström established himself as a top player in the Swedish junior league this season and at the end of the season he was more or less a regular in the Swedish second tier league. He was
surprisingly cut from the Swedish U18 WJC team, despite being one of few players born 1986 that played against men.
A very capable center, Bergström is good in the faceoff circle and creative in the offensive zone. He passes the puck well and can also finish a play. Like many other young players, he could bulk up a bit and become even stronger, something that would definitely benefit his play.
SEL club Linköping was hoping to sign Bergström but he has decided to stay with Rögle in the second tier league. It could be a wise decision since he has the tools and skills to already next season have a significant role in the league.
#13 – Nicklas Grossman
Grossman scored a goal and 2 assists in 33 regular season games with Södertälje this season. He was among the best players on the team and also saw a brief call-up to Södertälje’s SEL-team. What stands out the most about Grossman is his large stature and the authority he has out on the ice. Grossman is definitely not a flashy player and more likely to become a strong stay-at-home defenseman in the future. In the juniors he was tough to beat one-on-one with his great reach and physical strength and his defensive game is his main asset.
Being a defensive defenseman Grossman went quite unnoticed in the junior league but as he got to play for the Swedish U19-team in February he caught the scouts’ attention. Grossman, who was named team captain, had a strong tournament and coach Torgny Bendelin praised him as the top Swedish defenseman in the tourney.
#12 – Alexander Täng
Alexander Täng was a top 3 defenseman in the Swedish junior league with Frölunda this season and showed significant improvement compared to last year, where he did not get drafted.
He is a skilled two-way defenseman with exceptional hockey sense. Täng is a strong skater, has a flawless passing game and reads the game very well. He has a good release and impressive mobility and positioning on the ice. Täng’s long crisp passes from the defensive zone became a trademark for him in the juniors. He is also capable of moving the puck safely and does so well. When it comes to his size he is a rather smallish defenseman at 5’11”, but he has bulked up and so far there have been no signs of him struggling against bigger and stronger opponents.
Täng has signed a contract with Swedish 2nd-tier league team Rögle where he should get quality
ice time next season preparing him for the World Junior Championships.
|Team Sweden U20||WJC-20||6||0||3||3||2|
#11 – Niklas Andersson
|HEIGHT:||185 cm / 6’1″|
|WEIGHT:||85 kg / 187 lbs|
Andersson has this season been a key player for the Swedish junior national team and also had a very good season with Brynäs in the junior league, earning him a brief call-up to the SEL club. He was a talented defenseman a year ago but has this season taken his game to higher level.
A very smart defenseman with soft hands. Andersson has great hockey sense and is a good skater. He has also a good release although it wouldn’t hurt with some improvement in the shooting department. Andersson has taken huge steps in his development this season and been among Brynäs’ most important players in the junior league. Throughout the season he displayed a very steady play and in general he does very few mistakes on the ice. Andersson will likely be the 8 th defenseman on Brynäs’ SEL roster next season. This means he will get some shifts with the seniors, but probably spend most of his time in the juniors
|Brynäs J18||J18 Allsvenskan||1||0||0||0||2|
|Team Sweden U18||WJC-18||6||1||0||1||6|