The Edmonton Oilers have invested significant draft bullets in Sweden since 2008, including winger Magnus Paajarvi. Some of the major components of the rebuild are from the Nordic country.
NHL TOTAL PLAYERS/SWEDISH PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL
- 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 21 from Sweden
- 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 25 from Sweden
- 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 21 from Sweden
- 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 22 from Sweden
- 2008 NHL draft, 211 total players, 19 from Sweden
- FINAL TALLY: 1054 total players, 108 from SEL
- PERCENTAGE: 10.2%
OILERS TOTAL PLAYERS/SWEDISH PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL
- 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 1 from Sweden
- 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 1 from the Sweden
- 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 1 from the Sweden
- 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 2 from the Sweden
- 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 0 from the Sweden
- FINAL TALLY: 39 total players, 5 from the Sweden
- PERCENTAGE: 12.8%
The Oilers use the Swedish talent pool exactly average. However, the club has been using some dear picks on Swedes.
SWEDISH PLAYERS DRAFTED DURING STU MACGREGOR ERA
- Johan Motin, 103rd overall in 2008 (1 NHL game)
- Magnus Paajarvi 10th overall in 2009 (163 NHL games)
- Anton Lander 40th overall in 2009 (67 NHL games)
- Oscar Klefbom 19th overall in 2011
- Erik Gustafsson 93rd overall in 2012
Swedish players are drafted by Edmonton at the rate of 1 per year. Among the available draft talent pools, Oilers like Sweden plenty:
- WHL 11
- OHL 5
- Sweden 5
- QMJHL 3
More interesting, the number of picks inside the top 50 (three of them) towers over the Q (zero) and is even more than the OHL (2, although both #1 overalls). Only the WHL (5 inside the top 5) has more than Sweden, suggesting that (although this is a very small sample size) the Oilers very much like the kinds of players Sweden is turning out nowadays.
It’s kind of the new Finland.
TOP PLAYER FROM SWEDEN, 2013 DRAFT
- C Elias Lindholm: Outstanding talent, may end up playing the wing.
- C Alex Wennberg: Lanky skill center with speed and quickness; playing in Swe2 league.
- L Andre Burakowsky: Good puck skills, can make plays at high speed and driving to the net.
- L Jacob de la Rose: Can play any F position, gets opportunities, may not be a natural scorer.
- D Linus Arnesson: Defensive defender is an excellent skater.
- L Peter Cehlarik: Skill W with size.
- D Robert Hagg: Has very good skating ability with quickness, agility & power.
- L Viktor Arvidsson: Skill winger with outstanding puckhandling ability.
- D Niklas Hanssen: Puck mover with skill.
- C Viktor Crus Rydberg: Skill C with great potential.
- C Lukas Wallmark: Impressive skill, average speed.
- D Wilhelm Westlund: Steady, reliable defender.
- D Emil Djuse: Skilled, mobile defender.
- D Dean Kukan: Smart 2-way player–Swiss.
This list, and the entire series, owes a great deal to Corey Pronman’s magical 1-250 list. It has been a pleasure finding out about this year’s players.