It’s been an up-and-down roller coaster for Swedish defenseman Gustav Bouramman. After debuting in the Hockey Wilderness T25U25 in 2015 at 24, the Swede went unranked last season. Now this year he was ranked as high as 11 and as low as 41 by the HW staff.
Neither the biggest nor the fastest, Bouramman’s 6’0” 190-pound frame leaves some room to develop extra size. Wild fans should by now understand that size is not the end-all-be-all of defensive players; neither Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, nor Jonas Brodin are huge players, but they are certainly quality players.
The 20 year old came over from Europe in 2014, and has spent the years since playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. In his 201 games with the Canadian side he’s averaged 42 points per season (44, 45, and 36 in his three seasons). That downturn at the end may be concerning, but he was still the 2nd-best point getter on the Greyhounds’ blue line behind Connor Timmins of the Avalanche prospects.
This year will be the Wild’s best look at the youngster, as he is slated to join the Iowa Wild. The speedy defenseman will look to continue to build on the Iowa Wild, who in 2016-17 started to show signs of turning around the horrible seasons of the past few years.
Hockey’s Future describes Bouramman’s ability to skate with and without the puck and ability to create opportunities as his strengths. His strength and positioning still need work, however.
In terms of comparables, think Dumba’s positional struggles but Brodin’s skating; there are worse players out there. Still, Bouramman is not at that level. He projects to be a middle-pairing defenseman at most right now, and the AHL will be a big test for him coming out of the OHL.
Bouramman will have competition, from veteran AHLers like Ryan Murphy as well as fellow youngsters looking to make a name for themselves; Gustav Olofsson and Mike Reilly will b fighting to earn a permanent berth on the NHL roster and may bounce up and down in the early season.
The likelihood of seeing Bouramman in the NHL this year is practically zero, unless a plethora of injuries pop up or he has developed immensely over the summer. It could happen, but if it does, something is horribly wrong in the Wild’s organization.