Current Rank: #17
Summer Rank: #15
Although it might look like Motin has slipped a little since summer, it’s important to point out the slip down the list is more due to prospects establishing themselves (Plante and Omark) than anything this kid has done wrong.
As a matter of fact, the more I find out about Motin the more mysterious his fall on draft day. He was ranked by ISS at 13th overall for the 2008 draft as late as November 2007 but fell off the charts when others began to establish themselves after Christmas.
Elite prospects gives us a thumbnail sketch on Motin: He’s a stay-at-home defenseman with very good size and strength. He has the potential to become a bruising defenseman if he develops his physical game. At this point, his is inconsistent when it comes to playing the body and should act with more resolution and confidence along the boards and in front of his goalie. Offensively, there is little to say about Motin. He does not have the fundamental skills to contribute in a big way in terms of points and hockey sense is limited to playing it safe in his own end. Motin’s puck skills are rather average and on the downside, mobility and speed could use some improvement.
When it came time for their final rankings, International Scouting Services pegged Motin at #77 overall for 2008. A few items from ISS on Motin:
- 6.01, 202
- A strong skating defender.
- Does over commit at times but is skilled enough to recover.
- Very strong defensive and offensive presence.
- Was #1 on depth chart for Sweden at WJC’s.
- +5 in 6gp for Sweden at the World Junior’s.
- Crisp passer, plays in all situations.
There’s a disconnect between the two in regard to offensive ability but Motin’s track record (he’s played 82 SEL games and has no goals and 6 assists) tells us he may be a little shy in the scoring department.
Still, there’s a lot to like here. He won’t turn 20 until next fall but has already played a ton in Sweden’s highest league. He’s represented his country at the U18 WJ’s and the WJC’s and played well both times. Illegal Curve had some very nice things to say about him: Not an overly offensive player, Motin does have a good shot and offensive instincts, but plays more of a solid 2-way game and leans a little to the defensive. He has all the tools that you hear scouts repeat when talking about defenseman that they like: size, strength, mobility, lateral quickness, instincts and hockey sense. What I like specifically is that, based on reports, he is mean. In addition to being mean, Motin plays a simple low risk game and doesn’t give up on any play.
These are all (especially the bolded part) things of value and specifically for this prospect group are rare enough to have increased value. Next summer I suspect Steve Tambellini’s shopping list is going to include the words: size, strength, grit and a mean streak. Johan Motin has these things, is in the system and is playing at a high level as a teenager. These are good arrows.