Nikolaj Ehlers
Image: QMJHL

Nikolaj Ehlers

Hometown:

Aalborg Denmark

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1996-02-14

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

1st round (9th overall), 2014

Weight:

172 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2010-11: Nikolaj Ehlers skated in the Swiss Elite Novizen U17 league as a 14-year-old. In 28 regular season games for Biel he scored 19 goals with 11 assists and had 8 penalty minutes. Biel avoided relegation to the second division. Ehlers scored 7 goals with 9 assists and 6 penalty minutes in seven relegation playoff games.

2011-12: Ehlers was the third-leading scorer for Biel’s U20 team despite skating in just 28 of 38 regular season games — and skated for Biel’s U17 team and Denmark’s U16 squad. He scored 17 goals with 17 assists and had 6 penalty minutes in Elite Jr A play. In four relegation playoff games he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes. Ehlers scored 26 goals with 20 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 35 games with Biel’s U17 team. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and 4 penalty minutes in three international U16 matches for Denmark.

2012-13: Ehlers played 18 games for Biel’s men’s team in the Swiss National A League (including seven playoff games) — spending most of the year with the club’s junior team — and was part of Denmark’s gold medal-winning U18 squad at the 2013 U18 Division 1A World Junior Championship. He scored his first professional goal and had one assist; finishing +1 in 11 regular season games with Biel. In seven playoff games he was an even plus/minus with 3 assists. In 34 games with Biel’s U20 squad he scored 30 goals with 23 assists and had 36 penalty minutes. Ehlers scored 3 goals with 8 assists and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes for Denmark at the WJC D1A tournament. He was selected by Halifax in the first round (6th overall) of the 2013 CHL Import Draft and was chosen by Avangard Omsk in the fourth round (127th overall) of the 2013 KHL Draft.

2013-14: Ehlers made a smooth transition from Europe to North America — proving to be an offensive force for Halifax in his first QMJHL season — and in December was part of Denmark’s gold medal-winning U20 squad at the Division 1A World Junior Championship in Poland. He was the QMJHL’s fourth-leading scorer behind Anthony Mantha (DET), 20-year-old Marcus Power, and Halifax teammate Jonathan Drouin (TBL). In 63 regular season games he scored 49 goals with 55 assists and was +65 with 51 penalty minutes. The Mooseheads finished first in the Maritimes Division and advanced to the playoff semifinals — falling to eventual QMJHL champion Val-d’Or. Ehlers scored 11 goals (nine on the power play) with 17 assists and was +3 with 18 penalty minutes in 16 playoff games. He scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was +6 with 4 penalty minutes in five games for Denmark. Ehlers was selected to play for Team Orr in the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He was ranked 13th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Winnipeg in the first round (ninth overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis

Blessed with dynamic speed and sniper's hands, Ehlers did not have to adapt to the QMJHL so much as the league needed to readjust and try to stop the blazing Dane. Able to dance through defenders and fire his laser-precise wrister home, he will only get better as he continues to get stronger and more capable of breaking through physical pressure. Creative with the puck, Ehlers is working hard to round out his game.

Future

Ehlers made a favorable first impression in his first NHL training camp with the Jets before returning to Halifax for his second QMJHL season in 2014-15. With Jonathan Drouin no longer in the lineup for the Mooseheads much of the focus will be on Ehlers and 17-year-old German forward Timo Meier. While his size and strength will be issues, and he will need to add some bulk to withstand the physical play at the NHL level, Ehlers projects to being a high end offensive talent one day.

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