Based on all known indicators, Philip Broberg should play a feature role for Sweden at the World Junior Championships. Tre Kronor had to leave some quality back at the ICEHOTEL but this tournament is normally a pleasure cruise for Sweden. Broberg should be dominant and for Oilers fans this next 10 days may give us a good idea about the possible range of deployment for Broberg when he is a mature player. Does he get power-play time? What does he do with it? Right side? PK? 20+ minutes? It’s go time.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: Why fans should expect an Oilers playoff berth in Canadian division
- Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett has more options now thanks to versatile Oilers forwards
- Lowetide: 7 big questions facing the Oilers heading into next season
- Lowetide: Danger, heartbreak ahead for Oilers, Ethan Bear in contract situation
- Lowetide: Tyler Tullio is the latest Oilers draft pick to make an impression
- Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Left-side logjam will force the Oilers to make a choice, and perhaps a sacrifice
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s 2020 Oilers offseason report card
- Lowetide: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
- Lowetide: Why Anton Forsberg could win the Oilers’ backup job in 2020-21
- Lowetide: The 2020-21 Oilers finally deploying elite talent in the right places
- Jonathan Willis: Team Draft vs. Team Trade: Which collection of all-time Oilers is better?
- Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success
- Lowetide: Projected training camp roster for the 2020-21 Oilers.
- Jonathan Willis: Will the Oilers repeat their power play magic in 2021?
- Lowetide: How many ‘peak seasons’ can Oilers fans expect from Connor McDavid?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
BROBERG DRAFT PLUS TWO
Broberg is playing a feature role for Skelleftea in the SHL this season, and has struggled in recent weeks. I think he’ll likely play a game or two for the Oilers in 2020-21, after his SHL season is over. Edmonton might want to give him a look. I expect he will attend Oilers training camp in the fall.
It’s also possible we see him play the 2021-22 season in Sweden, allowing Broberg to dominate the league.
It might be an idea to give you the season splits on this player, to see how his year has progressed.
On October 31, he was tied for No. 15 among SHL blue in scoring (12 games, 1-4-5). He was averaging 19:44 per game and had an even strength on ice goal differential of 7-9, which ranked No. 3 among Skelleftea blue. Broberg was No. 5 in even strength ice time (14:53, two seconds behind the man in fourth) and had posted four power-play points in 31 minutes (7.55 per 60).
In the two months since then, he has played 11 games and scored a goal and 2 assists. His numbers for the year (23 games, 2-6-8) rank him No. 24 overall in league scoring by defensemen. He now averages 19:03 per game (still a substantial number) and has an even strength on ice goal differential of 12-21 (5-12 since October 31). His even strength ice time has increased to 15:19 (he is now up to No. 3 on the team). Broberg has five power-play points in 52:31 (5.71 per 60).
The SHL is a tougher level than the World Juniors. Broberg may not dominate but he should be successful.
HOLLOWAY DRAFT PLUS ONE
Holloway impressed in a couple of NCAA games for Wisconsin (scoring twice) and then found his way to Team Canada’s camp for the World Juniors. He won a job as a regular on the team. It does matter. He is draft plus one and playing in the tournament.
I’ve mentioned this before but playing in the tournament draft +1 is a big deal. No. 1 overall picks usually play in the tournament leading up to the draft, but playing at Christmas after a June selection is a fairly good predictor of an NHL future if you’re a first-round pick. Here, let’s do the 2010’s (first rounders in italics).
2011 WJ’s (completed January 2011): Martin Marincin (Slovakia); Curtis Hamilton (Canada).
2012 WJ’s (completed January 2012): Oscar Klefbom (Sweden); Martin Gernat, (Slovakia); David Musil (Czech).
2013 WJ’s (completed January 2013): Nail Yakupov, Daniil Zharkov (Russia).
2014 WJ’s (completed January 2014): Anton Slepyshev, Bogdan Yakimov (Russia).
2015 WJ’s (completed January 2015): William Lagesson (Sweden).
2016 WJ’s (completed January 2016):
2017 WJ’s (completed January 2017): Aapeli Rasanen (Finland)
2018 WJ’s (completed January 2018): Kailer Yamamoto (USA); Ostap Safin (Czech); Dmitri Samorukov (Russia).
2019 WJ’s (completed January 2019): Evan Bouchard (Canada)
2020 WJ’s (completed January 2020): Philip Broberg (Sweden); Raphael Lavoie (Canada); Matej Blumel (Czech).
2021 WJ’s (completed January 2021): Dylan Holloway (Canada).
First rounders from Klefbom to Bouchard have at least appeared in the NHL and I do think Broberg and Holloway are on track. I also believe Lavoie has a good chance. Samorukov wasn’t a first-round pick but his performance in the KHL this season suggests he might be able to compete for an NHL job this fall.