Swedish Rankings

By Peter Westermark
Leksand defenseman Lars Jonsson is the top rated Swede according to the Swedish correspondents at Hockey´s Future. He has achieved that by playing at a high level all season long and displaying flashes of greatness on both the Swedish national junior team and on Leksand´s junior team. Leksand officials expect Jonsson to step right in an play 30-40 of the 50 regular season games in the Elitserien next season.

The second rated player is Martin Samuelsson who was highly touted as a 16-year-old. He had to battle both injuries and inconsistency this season and his offensive output has to be considered a disappointment. A point-per-game pace in a soft league is not good enough for a potential first round pick. He added a silver lining to his poor season with a good U18 World Championship where he scored 3 goals and 5 assists in 6 games. The gifted Samuelsson, who moved from Stockholm to play for MoDo´s juniorteam, has now moved back to the Swedish capital and will suit up for Hammarby´s senior team next season. A good choice for Samuelsson who left a MoDo club where a lot of the players seemed more concerned about playing for the scouts than playing for their teammates at times. A selfish attitude won´t cut it in senior hockey, and next year will be very beneficial for him.
Our number three is Lars Jonsson´s teammate in Leksand, forward Jonas Nordqvist. While some are very high on him because of his smartness and skill-level, we are not sure about his skating-ability and attitude. The latter can be corrected with increasing maturity, but there has to be concern about his skating.

In our ranking, we decided to omit veteran players. That didn´t stop us from making a serious mistake, though. Djurgården rookie goaltender Mikael Tellqvist, who could be drafted ahead of up to twelve of our top 15 players, didn´t make the ranking. We have slotted him in at number five in our revised edition of the ranking.

The decision to omit other veterans such as Brynäs´ Niclas Wallin was based on the fact that they are drafted more because of immediate needs of specific teams than potential. An accompanying article deals with the veterans and profiles for the possible veteran draftees have been added.