Since 2008, the Edmonton Oilers have chosen six prospects from Sweden and their return on investment has been good. Will the team spend resources there in 2016?
NHL PLAYERS/SWEDISH PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR
- 2015 NHL draft—211 total players, 18 from Sweden
- 2014 NHL draft—210 total players, 29 from Sweden
- 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 26 from Sweden
- 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: 1,686 total players, 181 from SEL
- PERCENTAGE: 10.7%
OILERS PLAYERS/SWEDISH PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR
- 2015 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from Sweden
- 2014 NHL draft—6 total players, 1 from Sweden
- 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 0 from Sweden
- 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: 61 total players, 6 from the Sweden
- PERCENTAGE: 9.8%
Oilers are taking kids from Sweden about as often as the rest of the league, and—uniquely among European nations—spent some first-round selections on kids from the kingdom.
THE SIX SWEDES
- Johan Motin, 103rd overall in 2008 (1 NHL game). He is now 26, has played 288 SHL games and appears to be a productive defensive defender. His selection didn’t benefit the Oilers much but he has enjoyed a strong pro career. I would call that a successful selection in terms of talent identification.
- Magnus Paajarvi 10th overall in 2009 (276 NHL games). Now 25, scoring remains his only real issue. NHL speed plus, he is a responsible player who is reaching the point where coaches count on him. If he could only score 15 goals a year (he did as a rookie).
- Anton Lander 40th overall in 2009 (193 NHL games). Lander is 25 and looked as though he had arrived under Todd Nelson a year ago. This year he had a strong TC and spent the rest of the season being a day late and a dollar short. He has a contract for next year but will need to have a tremendous season if he has any chance to remain after 2016-17.
- Oscar Klefbom 19th overall in 2011 (107 NHL games) At 22, and with 107 NHL games, I am pretty certain Klefbom will be a very successful two-way defender in this league if he can stay healthy. In terms of value, he represents one of the best selections of the Stu MacGregor era.
- Erik Gustafsson 93rd overall in 2012 (signed with Chicago this spring) (41 NHL games) He is 24, and enjoyed a strong rookie season with the Chicagos. No reason to believe he will take a giant step back, so worth giving the scouts a check mark on this player.
- William Lagesson 91st overall in 2014. He is 20 and could turn pro, but Edmonton leads the league in defensive defenders who shoot left. I think he might be a good prospect, difficult to suss out NCAA players of this type (the boxcars don’t help much and we don’t see them). Based on his usage and performance at the WJCs, he is a fine prospect.
TOP PLAYERS FROM SWEDEN, 2016 DRAFT
- C Rasmus Asplund, Farjestads (SHL). He is 6.0, 180 and quality two-way forward.
- G Filip Gustavsson, Lulea (SHL): Big G with a .910 SHL SP. Impressive.
- L Jonathan Dahlen, Timra (Allsvenskan). Ulf’s boy, slick and brilliant.
- RD Filip Berglund, Skelleftea AIK (SuperElite). Intriguing offense, may take awhile.
- L Carl Grundstrom, MoDo (SHL): Speedy scoring-winger playing Euro pro.
- C Linus Lindstrom, Skelleftea (SuperElite). Swede with two-way skills.
- R Jesper Bratt, AIK (Allsvenskan). Very small, very skilled. Fast buzzsaw.
- LD Sebastian Aho, Skelleftea (SHL). Undersized, puck moving defenseman. Fascinating prospect. This is the third draft I have ranked him.
- LD Jacob Moverare, HV71 (SuperElite). Two-way D, strong, mobile.
- LD Lucas Carlsson, Brynas (SHL). Two-way defenseman, eligible last year.
- G Daniel Marmenlind, Orebro (SuperElite). Strong numbers (.920)
- C Oskar Steen, Farjestads (SuperElite). Small F with skill, average offense.
- LD David Bernhardt, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Interesting prospect. Can move the puck, has good speed, overall ranking curious.
- R Jonathan Davidsson, Djurgaden (Super-Elite). Impressive skill winger, ranked him last season too.
- W Mathias From, Rogle (SuperElite). Good speed, range of skills, shy offense.
- R Fredrik Forsberg, Leksands (SuperElite). There is something I do not know about him, so I put him here. Based on math, he is a brilliant player at his current level (SuperElite) but has been in that league for some time. If the Oilers draft him late, they have a pretty substantial offensive prospect—I just don’t have any idea at what level he would stop scoring.
- C-W Alexander Bjurstrom, Brynas (SuperElite). Not much on him. Smaller, some skill.
- LD Matias Lassen, Leksands (Allsvenskan). He appears to have some ability offensively.
- L Fredrik Karlstrom, AIK (SuperElite). Bigger winger with some skill.
- LD Alexander Younan, HV71 (Allsvenskan). Two-way defender, he’s also played quite a bit internationally. Smart and skilled, according to Elite Prospects.
- LD Linus Nassen, Lulea (SuperElite). Intriguing player, has some skill. 6.0, 172.
- LD Petter Hansson, Linkoping (Super-Elite). Skilled defender, decent size. Rangy.
- RD Jacob Cederholm, HV71 (SuperElite). Big defensive defender.
- G Robin Jensen, Djurgarden (SuperElite). 20, so older for that league. .923SP.
- L Sebastian Ohlsson, Skelleftea (SHL). Small skill F showed well at U18’s.
- R Adam Brodecki, Brynas (SHL). Scoring winger.
- LD Hugo Danielsson, Skelleftea (SuperElite). 6.03, 187 and not much offense.
- L Filip Lestan, HV71 (SuperElite). 6.05, 192 winger. No offense, but he is a giant.
Edmonton has enjoyed some real success with Swedish prospects, and there are some really interesting players here. I hope Edmonton takes a long look at prospects like Dahlen, Berglund, Bratt, Aho, Davidsson and Forsberg. Although math only gets you so far, Sweden has delivered some nice prospects to Edmonton in the last few years. Another Swedish draft pick this year makes sense.