Alexander Wennberg
Image: Djurgarden Hockey

Alexander Wennberg

Hometown:

Nacka Sweden

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1994-09-22

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

1st round (14th overall), 2013

Weight:

183 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

2010-11: Alexander Wennberg made the jump from Boo IF in Sweden’s Division 2 to the Djurgarden club in elite juniors. In 40 games for the Djurgarden U18 team he scored 11 goals with 23 assists. In five playoff games he had 1 goal with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes as Djurgarden advanced to the U18 finals.

2011-12: Wennberg moved up to Djurgardens’ U20 team and represented Sweden in the 2011 U19 World Junior A Challenge and 2012 U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. He scored 1 goal with 19 assists in 45 games, including three playoff contests, and was plus-6 with 6 penalty minutes. Wennberg played eight games for Djurgardens’ U18 team. In four games for Sweden at the WJAC he was scoreless with no penalty minutes. Wennberg had a breakout tournament for Sweden’s silver medal-winning U18 team, scoring 3 goals with 6 assists and finishing plus-2 in six games. He spent time with Djurgarden’s Elitserien team but did not appear in any games.

2012-13: Wennberg spent his first season in Swedish pro hockey as an 18-year-old, skating in 46 games for Djurgarden, which had been demoted from the Elitserien to Allsvenskan. Including Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog, who spent time with the club during the NHL lockout, Djurgarden featured several teenagers. Wennberg was the team’s fourth-leading scorer, scoring 14 goals with 18 assists in 46 games, and was plus-10 with 14 penalty minutes. In three Kval playoff games he had 3 assists. Playing for Sweden’s silver medal U20 team at the 2013 World Junior Championship he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was plus-2 in six games. In April he signed a two-year contract to play for Frolunda in the Elitserien. Wennberg was ranked fifth amongst European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was selected by Columbus in the first round (14th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Wennberg led all junior-aged players in the SHL (formerly Elitserien) with 16 goals and had 5 assists in 50 games with Frolunda.He skated for the silver medal-winning Sweden U20 team at the 2014 World Junior Championship. He was minus-5 with 9 penalty minutes as Frolunda finished second to eventual champion Skelleftea. Wennberg scored 1 goal and was plus-1 in seven playoff games as the Indians lost to Linkopings in a first round series. He scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was plus-5 with 2 penalty minutes in seven games at the WJC. Sweden lost 3-2 in overtime to Finland in the gold medal game. Wennberg signed a three-year entry-level contract with Columbus in May 2014. 

Talent Analysis

Wennberg is a tall and rangy player who has turned three-zone into his calling card. He has nice, soft hands and a sense for when the time’s ripe for a pass or a shot. He displays good anticipation and in-game intelligence. Despite a still somewhat lanky frame, Wennberg has some good wheels and strong side-to-side movement. He doesn’t hesitate to throw the body around and plays with a sense of great responsibility for his defensive duties. He compliments all sorts of line-mates. His frame is the type that looks like it could house another 20-30 pounds within the next five years. Wennberg played full-time minutes in Sweden's elite league as a teenager.

Future

Wennberg attended training camp with Columbus and was in the opening night lineup for the 2014-15 season. In 21 games with the Blue Jackets he had three assists and was minus-14 before being assigned to AHL affiliate Springfield at the end of November. While Wennberg struggled in his first experience at the NHL level, that shouldn't diminish expectations. One only has to look at the experience of his fellow countryman, Nashville's Filip Forsberg — who struggled in his initial NHL stint last year but is now among the league's leading rookies — as an example of Wennberg's possible career path. While there is no guarantee that he enjoys the same success as Forsberg, and Wennberg will need to add bulk and strength to compete on a nightly basis, his skill set and instincts suggest he can be among the better forwards for Columbus and a key part of the lineup for years to come.

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