Hello my new friends, hello. My name is Ashley, your newest face on Riding Pine.
Let’s start off with some draft content. You can find my full rankings on Twitter on my personal account linked below.
To kick-off, let’s dive into the Swedish forwards! I think that this is a really deep crop and as always, will produce later-round gems.
Below you’ll find my evaluations and ranking on each prospect, hope you all enjoy!
Lucas Raymond – RW – Frölunda HC
Final Ranking: 4th
Raymond with his speed, shot, hockey IQ and compete should be a dominant player for many years to come. He excels in zone entries and does so with flair. He loves nothing more than collecting the puck in the defensive zone, build speed and pick his entry point and attack. But he isn’t just speed and transition. He’s got a fantastic shot off the rush and for a guy that’s not overly big, he uses his solid core-strength to power through checks to win his own pucks and can fight his way out of the corners. Raymond plays at an incredible pace and has fantastic vision. He plays with a sense of arrogance and confidence which I kinda like, he’s agitates you with skill and on the scoreboard.
Alexander Holtz – RW – Djurgårdens IF
Final Ranking: 7th
Much like Raymond, Holtz is a transition wizard with a great shot. Honestly, side-by-side there isn’t much that isn’t too dissimilar. Holtz perhaps has more tools in regards to shot variety than Raymond, but doesn’t quite have the speed, strength and have that same level of nasty. But this shouldn’t take away from his own talents, Holtz has excellent offensive predatory skills and has a fantastic nose for goal. He processes the game at a high pace and is able to read ahead of the play.
Noel Gunler – RW/LW – Luleå HF
Final Ranking: 10th
A fantastic north/south skater, Gunler has an impressive skill-set. He can weave his way through just about any defence with his speed and lateral movement. Gunler has probably the quickest and smoothest release of of all the Swedish forwards, it’s actually effortless, the accuracy is still coming. His passing is rather impressive also, the speed he possesses along the walls keeps opposing defenders guessing, they have to decide whether to defend the slick passes inboard or allow him to advance into the zone further. Commit levels are a question. He can defend well, it’s just a matter of consistency.
Zion Nybeck – RW – HV71 J20
Final Ranking: 21st
Nybeck may be smaller in stature, but he has a big game. A fast in your-face winger, Nybeck has a myriad of talents that negate his small frame. He’s normally faster, more elusive and more balanced on his skates than his peers, you can’t hit what you can’t see! He plays at an extreme tempo and makes good decisions in a blink of an eye. Besides having an excellent, well documented wrist shot, Nybeck is no slouch in his own end. He has a stout understanding of the game and is rarely out of position. I love his ability to read the play and find the soft spots and finish, he’s a legit goal scorer that dsereves attention.
Theodor Niederbach – C – Frölunda HC J20
Final Ranking: 45th
After losing last season to a knee injury, Niederbach had a nice bounce back. He lead Sweden in the five-nations tournament and stamped his mark with powerhouse Frölunda in the SuperElit. I really like his skills as a centre. He thrives with the puck on his stick and when in the offensive zone has incredible vision and patience. Niederbach has a quick release and a deceptive heavy shot that is accurate. He has underrated puck skills and skating ability and can weave his way through a defence effortlessly. He’s brilliant passing off the shot and uses fakes and deceptive body movements well to disguise so. He isn’t overly fast (even when fully healthy) or boasts high-end puck skills, Niederbach just does alot of things well. He has a high IQ and his poise shows a young man with a cool, no-panic approach to his craft.
Oskar Magnusson – C/W – Malmö J20
Final Ranking: 63rd
A centre/winger, Magnusson is an energetic two-way player who covers a tonne of ice. He’s got fantastic hockey sense and is always in good positions in all three zones. Offensively he’s poised and great and finding space in order to allow his fellow forwards to skate into good scoring areas. Magnusson is a good skater and can create separation with his speed and is deceptive with his elusiveness. He’s got a good shot, mostly stronger from distance and has a good one timer from the circles. He’s an aggressive penalty killer who pursues the point of attack and is lethal when streaking the other way.
Emil Heineman – LW – Leksands IF J20
Final Ranking: 69th
A late bloomer, Heineman came out of nowhere this season. Never overly prolific, he’s made a name for himself now. A genuine scoring winger, Heineman has a lighting release and wheels to match. He’s lethal playing off either wing and has great senses as to where the puck will be and skates hard to find it. With the puck, he flys down the walls and picks his entry spots and attacks the gap hard. He’s a good puck protector and transitions effortlessly from backhand to forehand. Great passer of the shot. Fantastic powerplay weapon. Needs to find some more defensive consistency and ways to involve himself when the game isn’t going his way.
Daniel Torgersson – LW/RW – Frölunda HC J20
Final Ranking: 71st
Torgersson is a big but raw scoring winger with what i’d say is intriguing, exciting upside. He’s mobile and agile for his 6’3″ 205lbs frame, thinks the game through at a high pace and has a very good finish on a variety of shots. He’s capable of playing either wing and can shoot off of either. I like his support play, he’s often around the puck and skates his way into spots where he’ll have scoring openings. Torgesson has sound defensive awareness and displays an active stick over 200-feet. Too often Torgersson shys away from contact even when he has a chance to advance or win the puck. Also too, he can get sloppy with the puck on his stick and sometimes harder passes aren’t received all that well. He’s a solid passer and sees the ice well, he just doesn’t make enough plays that his skill-set should allow. Torgersson has intriguing size and good offensive upside, he just needs moulding and correction.
Daniel Ljungman – C – Linköping HC J20
Final Ranking: 98th
Hard working offensive centre who has a hell of a shot and great vision. Ljungman is very dangerous when in possession in an attacking mindset, he’s got a fantastic shot off the rush and seemingly has eyes in the back of his head. His release is very fast but he’s got great extension with his hands, thus generating alot of power. Passing wise he has almost a sixth sense as to where his linemates will be, placing the puck into areas that are advantageous. He boasts a high compete mentality and is always around the puck in all three zones.
Oliver Tärnström – C – AIK J20
Final Ranking: 99th
One of the younger guys in the class, Tärnström put together an excellent season in the SuperElit. He’s a smooth skating playmaker who for his rather slight frame plays a hard, direct style of play. He is a strong skater with great balance who loves driving through the middle of the ice in order to create and/or shoot. Tärnström has fantastic vision and works off his driving ability in order to find passing seams. He didn’t really get an opportunity at international level (mostly due to age), but I expect him to blossom into a very effective player for Sweden at under-18 level once hockey resumes. #Sleeper
Isak Garfvé – C/W – Mora IK J20
Final Ranking: 109th
Garfvé is an attacking minded centre who uses his 6’3″ frame to his advantage. Couple this with above average speed and good hockey senses, Garfvé is able to position himself well on the inside of defenders. He’s constantly working hard to find the soft areas and is always presenting as a target for teammates. Garfvé also plays well in transition and you can often find him creating offence down the middle or down either wing. He’s got a really quick release that carries solid weight and is accuratre. For me, I’d like to see him bring the same tenacity he has offensively in his own end and be more confident on the puck as I feel he’s a better puck mover than he gives himself credit for.
Elliot Ekmark – C – Linköping HC J20
Final Ranking: 115th
A crafty up-tempo all-situation centre, Ekmark flies around the ice at high speed. He’s got great edgework and both lateral and north/south speed making him a handful in transition for opposing players. Even though he’s smaller at 5’9″, it doesn’t stop him from engaging physically over 200-feet. He’s more than happy to dump and chase his own puck in order to keep pressure on the defence or can just easily deke around you on his way to the net. He needs to build some leg strength and work on some positioning defensively but he’s got upside as a middle-six, buzzsaw gadget-guy.
Oscar Tellström – RW – Luleå HF J20
Final Ranking: 119th
Quite possibly my biggest risk here, but hey…. you gotta run with the horses sometimes. Tellström went from unknown prospect (bumping around in Division 1) to getting a crack at the SHL with Luleå within 4 months as just a 17 year-old. He played superbly in the J20 over a smaller sample. Tellström is a great finisher and has an excellent release from anywhere from the hashmarks and in. Tellström has a great sense of where the clean areas are going to be and has a true predatory goal-scorers sense. He’s got a good array of passing tricks too, his threatening shot opens up alot of opportunities for passes off the rush and he’s got a good feel for where trailing players will be. Overall, he’s got a good offensive package and I think he’s proven that he belongs at SuperElit level next season, mark this kids name down in your black book.
Alexander Ljungkrantz – LW – Brynäs IF J20
Final Ranking: 142nd
Scoring winger with a great release and good hockey senses. Can play either wing at even strength and even play the middle if need be. At even strength Ljungkrantz works really hard in the offensive zone. He’s constantly cycling trying to find himself space on the half-walls or find seams in order to cut to the net. Looks to be a key cog for Brynäs’ J20 powerplay and one thinks he’ll be even more a threat at even strength next season. Not overly explosive skater but moves well laterally and makes the most of every shift.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my evaluations and my take on some of the best prospects in this stellar, 2020 class!