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 #5 Draft Prospect - Filip Forsberg:
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2011 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Center / Leksands IF
Aug 13 1994
|2011/12 - Leksands IF (Swe-2)
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2011/12||U20 WJC Gold Medal
|U18 WJC Silver Medal|
|U18 WJC Best Forward
|Allsvenskan Most Points by U18 Junior
||U18 WJC Silver Medal|
||J20 SM Gold Medal|
||U16 SM Bronze Medal|
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?):
Who would have thought you would see Forsberg on a Wild jersey...
Summarized Scouting Report
Big, strong winger with power forward potential ... keeps his feet moving and possesses above average speed ... skates well with strong cuts and change of direction ... plays with a high energy level ... not afraid to initiate contact and has the strength to win many battles ... plays the game with a physical edge ... has a great shot with a pro-type release ... has a great set of hands and a nose for the net once he gets the puck on his stick ... makes strong passing plays but looks like a more natural finisher ... adept at protecting the puck from the opposition ... soft hands ... displays good puck skills ... has the ability to make those around him more effective ... is a three zone threat as he plays hard and makes plays both in the offensive zone as well as on defense
Has to work on skating, his stride is a little choppy.
Top six two-way forward
Filip Forsberg Highlights (via HockeyVideoHD)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
The Wild tons of skilled center prospects in Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Johan Larsson, Zach Phillips, but who is going to play alongside them?
Yes, Forsberg is a natural center but his skills are easily translatable into a power winger and considering that Granlund is a somewhat small guy, having a 6-2 power winger bulling his way on the side and creating room for his linemates will would wonders.
But again, don't expect to see him drop to #7 even if I have rated only 2 spots higher at #5.
As I writing these profiles, I am starting to be dumbfounded by the talent there is in the top half of this draft (the bottom half, not so much but we'll get there soon enough). Forsberg is rated #5 but is sounding to be a great prospect worthy of a #2 pick.
Let's see ... above average skater ... above average stick and puck skills ... above average strength ... above average play in offensive and defensive zone ... great shot. To me, all that spells is low risk/high reward prospect. In other words, you are getting an NHLer.
The only weakness I could find is that he could smooth out his skating stride and add more muscle to his frame but is that really a 'flaw'? Or is that just the sound of a young kid? To me, its the latter, and with 2 years of development, all your left with is his strengths which is a powerforward with top line offensive skills.
Just to clarify, from what I could gather, Forsberg isn't the physical power forward type. He isn't going to constantly punish the opposing team physically, but he has the type of powerforward that will protect the puck, use his strength to win board battles, and use his body to drive to the net, leaving defenders helpless and perhaps even forcing them to take a penalty, just to stop him.
I like that.
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Report