NHL Draft 2012 Prospects: #19 Pontus Aberg

The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.

The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).

However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.

So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.

So without further ado:

Introducing our 2012 NHL #19 Draft Prospect - Pontus Aberg

Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2012 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.

Brodin_medium


Pontus Aberg

Left Wing / Djurgardens IF Stockholm

5-11

187

Mar 29 1994



GP G A P +/- PIM
2011/12 - Djurgardens (SEL)
47 8 7 15 17
6

Accomplishments & Awards:

Year Award
2010/11 J20 SM Bronze Medal
J18 SM Silver Medal
2009/10 U17 WHC Bronze Medal
J18 SM Silver Medal
J18 Allsvenskan (Playoffs) Best Forward
2008/09 U16 SM Gold Medal

Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?)

Aberg_medium
That 'A' in Aberg isn't an initial for his first name, I promise you.

Summarized Scouting Report

Strengths:

A conscientious two-way player ... a lightning-fast skater ... good balance on his skates ... a strong, natural goal scorer who likes to shoot ... has a quick, heavy wrist shot and slap shot ... a good puck handler ... able to spin away from trouble ... good in tight spaces ... a very creative player ... blessed with very good vision ... someone who brings it every shift with a high effort-level

Weaknesses:

Not overly large ... his durability may be a concern unless he bulks up even more ... could use his teammates a little more

HW Projection:

Top six two-way forward

Video Evidence:

Pontus Åberg - NHL Draft Eligible 2012 (via ThaAngelus1)

Where Does He Fit In The Wild?

He fits perfectly with the Wild. He has some great offensive skills, is a Swede, and has been playing in the men's league and doing quite well. All things the Wild like.

But at #7, I think there are better choices.

Conclusion

Started the year on fire, and then started to cool off. Still, he managed to do very well in his first year in the men's league, being a nominee for Rookie of the Year (along with Wild's Johan Gustafsson, and finally losing to Johan Larsson).

Sweden is pumping out some serious talent, and Aberg is a product of that awesomeness. He's a great skater with a dangerous scoring touch. He plays hard, tough, and is reliable in all three zones. Skill-wise, he doesn't have any flaws.

The problem is more about his size and his consistency. He doesn't possess a large frame and that raises concern if he can survive the rigors of NHL play. In addition, his cold second half of the season have some wondering if his hot start was just a fluke. Aberg didn't have a chance to show that it wasn't during the WJC because he was injured in the exhibition games.

Aberg doesn't have the physical tools to be a big contributor on the bottom two lines in the NHL, so he will have to bulk up and refine his game if he wants to be a top six forward. Because its either that, or bust.

Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Repor

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