Photo: MODO forward and 2014 prospect William Nylander enters the 2014 NHL Draft as a top 10 prospect accodring to most scouting services (courtesy of Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
The trend in recent years that has seen the number of Swedish born and raised players chosen by NHL teams at the NHL Draft has continued to grow and serve as proof that the nation of Sweden is currently one ofthe top developers of hockey talent on the planet.
Photo: MODO forward and 2014 prospect William Nylander is ranked second among European skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft by NHL Central Scouting (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
Through the 2013 portion of the 2013-14 season, forward William Nylander was struggling to live up to his reputation as a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft. The skilled forward and son of former star NHL forward Michael Nylander had played for two different organizations at various levels of Swedish hockey, but only occasionally showed flashes of the high-end talent that gained him his high ranking.
Photo: Frolunda defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect John Klingberg has gotten a small taste of North American hockey the past couple of seasons, but will move to North America for the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Andrew Dieb/Icon SMI)
As the 2014 NHL Draft approaches, it is important to take note that the NHL is currently chock full of players hailing from Sweden. In particular, it would have been difficult to find many NHL rosters that lacked a Swede patrolling the blueline this past season.
Photo: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm finished second in scoring among rookie defensemen in the 2013-14 regular season, behind Boston Bruins’ rookie defender Torey Krug (courtesy of John Cordes/Icon SMI)
He was a surprise top-10 selection at the 2012 NHL Draft, but Anaheim Ducks rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm has at times looked like a seasoned NHL veteran at the tender age of 20.
Photo: Kootenay Ice captain and 2014 prospect Sam Reinhart will likely enter the 2014 NHL Draft as the top-ranked prospect according to ISS Hockey (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The calendar has flipped over to May, but the top 10 in the ISS Hockey ranking of the 2014 NHL Draft prospects looks an awful lot like the top of the order in April's rankings.