Ken Holland’s first draft pick as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers will be remembered for a long time. Will it be a home run or a strikeout? Too soon to say.
First thing to do is calm your tits. Seriously, we’re miles from knowing about this player. The selection wasn’t a “value” pick based on my list, but Pronman had him No. 9 overall (here).
Second, let’s go back and read what Swedish Poster told us:
The biggest ticket this year is Philip Broberg, 6’3 LHD who can absolutely fly. Skating is the first thing that pops out when you see him, not just amazing top speed but his acceleration is great both from standstill but also how he goes from 4th to 5th gear, he walks the line well and has great mobility in all directions. Against his peers coast to coast adventures are as common as a Gene pun. More interesting is to see him against grown ups in the second swedish tier, Allsvenskan, as he can’t just skate past guys at will at that level.
There you notice that he actually has a pretty good grasp where he should be defensively, breaks up plays, good gaps and moves the puck north not only by skating it up but he actually has a good first pass. As with most swedish D, in particular guys like Broberg who enters the mens ranks at an early age he’s not very physical but he’s pretty good at getting the puck from players either by shielding them off the puck or pokechecks. His shot is ok but not great, wellplaced wrister but needs more oomph to beat NHL goalies, with how explosive his skating is I think the chance he improves in that area is fairly good.
He’s got good puckhandling, not a dangler but controls the puck well at top speed, can make moves around players at high speed with the puck. He’s from the Lidström school of D where you don’t overhandle the puck once it’s under control on your stick and instead wait until you have to move past guys and make dekes to start messing about with the puck. His passing is fine, he moves the puck well technichally both forehand and backhand, as I mentioned he’s got a solid first pass.
Now the big talking point on Broberg and the thing that has people questioning him as an NHLer and thinking he’s one of the most likely players to bust amongst the top picks is his hockey IQ. I personally don’t think it’s a big issue, not elite in any way but not bad either, he knows his way around the ice, reads and reacts well.
Where I do think it stems from is that he doesn’t see the ice all that well offensively. Quite often you see him having those Darnell Nurse moments where he skates the puck into to the offensive zone and then doesn’t know what to do with it so he just keeps skating deeper into the zone, against his peers his skating is so outstanding that he usually can just take it to the net and create a scoring chance, but against tougher competition he often either ends up in the corner or just throws a wrister on net. Defensively and in other areas of the game his awareness is quite good though so I don’t think it’s about a severe lack of hockey smarts.
To my eye it looks like a lack of natural offensive instincts more than anything and that’s what might keep him from being a proper #1 D. There is one small caveat with regards to him lacking offensive instincts though. He’s a guy who’s development kind of exploded the last season and a half, he was a good player in his age group before, made the national teams and so on but something drastic happened with his trajectory once he moved from Örebro to AIK to make him the top name of the group. So what does this have to do with offensive instincts? Familiarity. Going from being a good player to a guy who can suddenly blow up the ice at will to create opportunities is a different situation and one he might need to adapt to in order to find his offensive groove. But with that burst of development you suddenly find yourself playing against full grown pros for the first time in your life and with that comes a whole new set of things to adapt to and providing offense is usually not at the top of the list for a 17 year old in a pro league.
If there’s any truth to this theory there might be untapped potential offensively and then you have a guy with pretty much the whole toolkit to be a #1D. That’s an if though. However as we’ve seen with Darnell this past season you can still be productive with limited offensive vision and instincts if your skating and puckhandling is good enough to move the puck up ice effectively. With that in mind I’d argue the risk he’s a bust is actually miniscule and instead he’s one of the safest picks in the draft. With his insane skating and ability to play defense I just don’t see how he won’t make it as a solid NHL D and even without an offensive uptick I think his upside is a #2 D.
Broberg’s NHLE numbers are 82, 2-7-9 .110. On the other hand, he scored and was 5, 3-1-4 at the Hlinka/Gretzky; 7, 2-4-6 and voted the best defenseman in the tournament at the recent U18’s.
We don’t know what we don’t know about Philip Broberg. There’s an uncomfortable vagueness to the math resume, and even though fans don’t like delayed gratification, this is a player we’re going to have to track over the next few seasons. He’s a fast train, he has considerable offense against players his own age and we have words and music by Swedish Poster. I’m not endorsing, but neither am I burying. Broberg will tell us who he is, in this case math doesn’t give us the usual color photo.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group, here’s an incredible Offer!
- New Lowetide: The heat is on Ken Holland’s Oilers for Day 2 of the NHL Draft.
- New Lowetide: Oilers Draft Day 1: Getting it right at No. 8 overall and multiple trade winds for Ken Holland.
- New Willis and Mirtle: Are the Oilers and Maple Leafs good trading partners?
- New Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Analyzing the early Edmonton Oilers’ 2019-20 depth chart.
- New Jonathan Willis: 2018-19 NHL Awards: Finalists, projected winners and snubs
- New Lowetide: The Oilers’ conundrum in taking Philip Broberg with the No. 8 overall pick
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s work week: Fixing the third and fourth lines while saving money and overhauling the penalty kill
- Jonathan Willis: How are the Oilers affected by early offseason trades and buyouts to Dion Phaneuf, Andrew MacDonald?
- Lowetide: Falling talent and other fun facts that could benefit the Oilers in the NHL Draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evaluating the pros and cons of potential Oilers buyout candidates
- Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Jay Woodcroft returning to coach AHL Condors and be reunited with Ken Holland
- Lowetide: Looking at the Oilers’ options for the No. 8 pick at the 2019 NHL Draft.
- Jonathan Willis: How many of Sam Gagner, Zack Kassian and Jujhar Khaira can play top-nine minutes for the Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A with Ken Holland: On the draft, buyouts, free agency and how to have a successful offseason
- Lowetide: Trading for Loui Eriksson: What makes sense for the Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The top five players the Oilers could lose in the expansion draft
- Jonathan Willis: What a trade involving Edmonton’s No. 8 pick might look like given Ken Holland’s history
- Lowetide: Hard Target Search: Finding the Oilers a centre who can penalty kill, help shape a useful third line, and serve in a mentor role
THE LIST, DAY TWO
5 L Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton (OHL). He scored 51-51-102 in 67 OHL games, age 17. I’ve read about skating, hockey sense and playing on the perimeter. I can’t ignore the math. A June 2001.
19 R Bobby Brink, Sioux City (USHL). Small, fast and very skilled, he’s an intelligent player with great vision. He could be a bargain.
24 LD Matthew Robertson, Edmonton (WHL). He’s had some injury issues but has also emerged as a fairly complete defender.
25 L Nick Robertson, Peterborough (OHL). Undersized skill winger with a sixth sense as a goal scorer. Impressive at Top Prospects.
26 RC Raphael Lavoie, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Adam Sherren: “Lavoie is a big physical force who is that old fashioned power forward.” He is a strong skater and has a goal-scorer’s touch. Aggressive, a force.
27 R Nathan Légaré, Baie Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL). Power winger who can score goals, he can find open ice and cash (45 goals in 68 games) and drives to the net with abandon.
28 L Egor Afanasyev, Muskegon (USHL). His numbers are outstanding, plus he’s a big forward with a powerful stride and an excellent shot. I like him plenty.
32 LC Blake Murray, Sudbury (OHL). Big center with plus speed and a scoring touch. A July 2001.
33 F Samuel Fagemo, Frolunda (SHL). I liked him a year ago, no reason to change now. A bona fide shooter, he has more clarity in his game now.
34 L Nils Hoglander, Rogle (SHL). A small skill winger, he can beat defensemen clean. More playmaker than scorer, but has a quick release and an effective shot.
35 RC Brett Leason, Prince Albert (WHL). He is 20. Impressive scorer, massive year over year spike (36 goals in 55 games this year).
37 RD Anttoni Honka, Jyp (Sm-Liiga). Draft Analyst: Swift skating puck rusher who knows how to handle the puck and has the kind of mobility that keeps forecheckers honest.
38 R Maxim Cajkovic, Saint John (QMJHL). Fantastic skater has impressive potential, played for a poor team that limited opportunity. His offensive output is miles behind his potential ala Peyton Krebs.
40 L Pavel Dorofeyev, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Dangerous skill winger who has a quick release, heavy shot and a sixth sense about where to be and when to be there.
42 LC Jamieson Rees, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Undersized skill forward who works hard on the forecheck. Terrific speed and a great motor.
43 R Albin Grewe, Djurgardens (SHL). Rugged winger with skill. I think he’s the kind of player who will be drafted by Boston, Philadelphia or Anaheim.
44 LC Karl Henriksson, Frolunda (SuperElite). Small and very skilled forward, he is a cerebral player in the offensive zone. He might be a steal.
45 L Robert Mastrosimone, Chicago (USHL). Some scouting reports have him as a top tier scoring prospect, he has skill for sure.
46 G Mads Søgaard, Medicine Hat (WHL). Posted a strong season (.921). He is 6.06. Danish goalie had a solid year in the NAHL a year ago.
47 L Vladislav Firstov, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL). Skill winger has a plus shot and delivered impressive results in his first North American season. I think he’ll land in the third round but that shot might get him drafted sooner.
48 RD Drew Helleson, US National Development Team (USHL). Impressive puck moving defender, his speed/size will make him popular on draft weekend.
49 L Ethan Keppen, Flint (OHL). Good speed, size (6.02, 214) and skill (30-29-59 in 68, 24 goals at 5-on-5).
50 L Patrik Puistola, Leki (Mestis). High skill, consistent scorer who also plays a responsible game beyond his years. My kind of player.
51 LC Yegor Spiridonov, Magnitogorsk (MHL). Tenacious two-way winger with impressive skill.
52 LD Henry Thrun, US National Team (USHL). He’s a two-way defender who delivered sold offense (23 points in 28 games). Lacks one outstanding skill, that might cause him to slide.
54 L Antti Saarela, Lukko (Sm-Liiga). ISS: Smart and gifted, quality stick skills. Noticeable on PP and PK.
55 RC Shane Pinto, Lincoln/Tri City (USHL). Big RHC is intriguing because of his size (6.02, 192) and scoring prowess (28 goals in 56 games). He’s a November 2000.
56 L Dillon Hamaliuk, Seattle (WHL). Promising numbers (31, 11-15-26) before losing his season to injury. Strong, great forechecker and he has skill.
57 RD Billy Constantinou, Kingston (OHL). Fast as lightning, high risk and reward defender.
58 R Leevi Aaltonen, Kalpa (Jr Sm-Liiga). ISS: “Slick offensive play-maker, undersized but highly skilled.”
59 G Pyotr Kochetkov, HK Ryazan (VHL). Huge goalie performed well in two Russian junior leagues and posted a .953 SP at the World Juniors. He might be the second goalie taken (behind Knight).
60 LD Mikko Kokkonen, Jukurit (Sm-Liiga). Two-way defender who adjusted quickly in Finland’s best league. No dominant skill, across the board good.
61 R Graeme Clarke, Ottawa ’67s (OHL). Pure scorer (20 goals in 49 games) who has been famous for some time. Good skater, great shot.
62 L Adam Beckman, Spokane (WHL). Among the best scorers in the league under 18, he posted 32 in 68 games. Averages 2.46 shots per game.
63 LD Daniil Misyul, Lokomotiv (MHL). At 6.03, 176, Misyul offers NHL teams an intriguing size/speed combination on the blue line. Raw and not close to the sum of his parts, he would be a reasonable bet because of potential.
66 R Tuukka Tieksola, Karpat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Small skill winger, great passer and skating.
67 LD Alex Vlasic, US National Development Team (USHL) Big defender who will probably make his living on the defensive side of the puck, he’s 6.06, 192.
68 L Nando Eggenberger, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Two-way talent, enjoyed a solid year in the OHL (he was eligible last season). I’m not sure anyone will take him, but Red Line loves him.
69 R Judd Caulfield, US National Development Team (USHL). He’s a power forward who HockeyProspect.com said “is capable of penetrating through defense using his above-average hands and excellent edges” a year ago.
70 LD Vladislav Kolyachonok, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Mike Morreale: “The Belarusian can skate and think the game so well.” Good passer, massive wingspan.
71 L Marcus Kallionkieli, Sioux City (USHL). He scored 29 goals in 58 games, that’s excellent production. He’s 6.01, plus shot, he could be a steal in a deep draft of USHL scorers.
72 R Luka Burzan, Brandon (WHL). A January 2000, so an older prospect. He scored 40 goals in 68 games. Speed, skill, works hard.
73 LC Nikita Alexandrov, Charlottetown (QMJHL). Skill center who can impact the game as a passer or scorer. Good balance, he is aggressive and can make exceptional skill plays. Lacks consistency.
74 LC Matias Maccelli, Dubuque (USHL). He’s got all kinds of skill, that’s going to get him drafted. A October 2000, he was dominant (62, 31-41-72) in the USHL last season.
75 G Hunter Jones, Peterborough (OHL). He’s a big goalie who has a solid reputation, but .902SP saw me fading him.
76 LC Oleg Zaitsev, Red Deer (WHL). A physical two-way center with impressive skating and passing skill. Great along the wall, patient.
77 RW Filip Koffer, Padrubice (Czech). Nice hands, he showed well at the U18’s. He isn’t well known and may not be picked, but he has real skill.
78 LD Albert Johansson, Farjestads (SuperElite). The scouting reports give us a picture of a fairly complete defenseman. That’s the best scouting report.
79 LC Matvei Guskov, London Knights (OHL). Another solid two-way center, I like his complete skill set.
80 R Dmitri Sheshin, Magnitohorsk (MHL). Undersized skill winger is something of a wizard with the puck. Good not great speed, an intriguing skill player.
81 LD Mike Vukojevic, Kitchener (OHL). Big defender has good speed and is a powerful defender. Has some offense, he’s a shutdown type.
82 LC Reece Newkirk, Portland (WHL). Undersized skill center exploded in his second junior season (68, 23-36-59). Good speed, has skill.
83 RD Ronnie Attard, Tri-City (USHL).He’s a 1999, so all of the numbers are skewed. Still, he’s a giant with a bomb for a shot and that has appeal.
84 LD Artemi Knyazev, Chicoutimi (QMJHL). Two-way defenseman, he is a quality skater. Makes good passes, has puck moving ability.
85 LC Alexei Protas, Belarus (Belarus). Listed under European list, he is in fact rolling like a Mack truck for the Prince Albert Raiders this spring. He’s 6.05, 195, and has great hands.
86 G Colten Ellis, Rimouski (QMJHL). Has posted two quality seasons in a row, with SP’s of .913 and .910 in two consecutive seasons. It’s more rare than you’d think.
87 RW Michal Teply, Liberic (Czech). Big scoring winger has some footspeed issues
89 LD Maxence Guenette, Val d’Or (QMJHL). Smart two-way defenseman, he improved markedly offensively this season. I’m surprised there isn’t more buzz about him.
90 LC Oscar Bjerselius, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Good speed and size, he’s a solid two-way forward with enough offense to project him into pro hockey. Does he have enough offense to play in the NHL someday?
91 R Sasha Mutala, Tri-City (WHL). He has good speed and size, scored 20. Impressive at Hlinka, solid but unspectacular during the season.
92 LC Mikhail Abramov, Victoriaville (QMJHL). Small forward with plus speed and passing ability. 54 points in 62 games.
93 R Alex Beaucage, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL). Impressive scorer has a quick release on his wrist shot, it’s good enough for 39 goals. His speed keeps him outside the higher regions but he’s worth a draft pick.
94 LD Semyon Chistyakov, Ufa (MHL). Small defender who skates well and passes the puck with skill. He’ll need some luck.
95 R Martin Lang, Kamloops (WHL). Impressive skill winger is barely eligible for the draft (Sept 15, 2001). 11-22-33 in 65 games.
96 RW Yevgeni Oksentyuk, Shahkter (Belarus). Small and highly skilled, he rocked the U18’s.
97 R Wiljami Myllylä, HIFK (Jr Sm-Liiga). Speed demon, has been posting gaudy scoring numbers for several years.
98 RD Simon Lundmark, Linkoping (SHL). A fascinating player, Lundmark’s scouting reports talk about his vision and outstanding outlet passing. He may go late but the potential is impressive.
99 LD Nikita Okhotyuk, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Big defender plays a two-way game. He can pass or carry, may have more offense than numbers imply.
100 LD Mattias Norlinder, MoDo (Allsvenskan). I like the league a lot and his skills and performance are worth a bet. Offensive defenseman.
101 R Josh Williams, Edmonton (WHL). Terrific skater and impressive skill, lack of consistency saw him slide a long way during the season.
102 RD Cole Moberg, Prince George (WHL). Good mobility, can move the puck and posted good numbers. October 2000.
103 LD Gianni Fairbrother, Everett (WHL). Puck moving defenseman came on as the season wore along, he’s a Sept 2000 so he’s a little lower on my list.
104 L Daniil Gutik, Yaroslavl (MHL). Streaky scorer with outstanding ability, he’s not a burner.
105 R Aku Raty, Karpat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Skill winger who also provides solid play without the puck. Average speed.
106 R Cole Schwindt, Mississauga (OHL). Strong two-way play are one thing but his offense (68, 19-30-49) represents huge progress. He’s a April 2001.
107 LW Premysl Svoboda, Litvinov (Czech U19). Torched his junior league (32, 22-33-55), has been dominating all the way through junior. November 2000.
108 LC Valentin Nussbaumer, Shawinigan (QMJHL). Two-way center is a quality skater, delivered less offensively than expected in 2018-19.
109 RD Antti Tuomisto, Assat (Jr Sm-Liiga). Puck moving blue, good skater and has an excellent shot. Some chaos.
110 LC Luke Toporowski, Spokane (WHL). Undersized skill forward who can play all three positions. Plays with an edge.
111 RD Jordan Spence, Moncton (QMJHL). Outstanding skater who makes good decisions with the puck. A two-way defender, his size (5.10, 164) will be an issue due to the position he plays.
112 LD Justin Bergeron, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) . He isn’t getting mentioned at all, but Bergeron has good speed, creativity and is a good defender.
113 LD Marshall Warren, US National Development Team (USHL). I have a healthy respect for blue from this program, Warren can skate and has a plus shot.
114 RD Kaedan Korczak, Kelowna (WHL). Shutdown defender with good speed, he’ll go far higher than I have him.
115 G Jonathan Lemieux, Val d’Or (QMJHL). A nice step forward year over year (.902, from .867) and he was buried by an awful team in year one.
116 LD Layton Ahac, Prince George (BCHL). Big defender with good speed, he’s a shutdown type and may go higher than my ranking.
117 LD Domenick Fensore, US National Development Team (USHL). Great skater, very skilled, his size (5.07) a concern for his position.
118 LC Harrison Blaisdell, Chilliwack (BCHL). Two-way center, just over a point per game in tier-two league. He’d be higher but the point total is a concern.
119 LC Lukas Wernblom, Modo (Allsvenskan). I’m all over the Allsvenskan like a fly on stink. That league has found a formula that works. Wernblom is a 2000, very skilled and smart.
120 L Yegor Chizhikov, Cherepovets (MHL). Haven’t read a thing on him, but he’s a July birthday and scores in every league they send him to, he’s worth a pick.