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2021 NHL Draft: Isak Rosén is an agile winger

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The tricky Swede is someone to think about in the late first round.

IHOCKEY-WC-IIHF-RUS-SWE Photo by GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP via Getty Images

If you took the pure essence of speed, skill, and agility, and tightly wound it up in a player that just shone with a bright light whenever he was on the ice — a glowing orb of Swedish exultation — it would be Isak Rosén.

It might be a turn off for some NHL scouts or fans of a certain team, but Rosén is basically everything you want for a human highlight reel. He shuffles around defenders, makes his way to basically sitting right on top of the goaltender, or can unleash a hectic one-timer on the power play — he can seemingly do everything and take advantage of weaker competition.

When any opposing player gives him space, he takes full control and can whip out scoring chances for himself or for his teammates. Rosén is extremely deceptive and tricks some defenses that can’t read him right, making them appear foolish as he snipes one above their goaltender.

He has some incredible tools, but the effectiveness and how much it affects his teammates is something to look out for. He makes extremely high level plays, but sometimes in the grander sense, he isn’t very reliable for someone that wants to keep he puck and play a safe game. I’m sure a lot of players grow into that side of the game and just simply want to show off their natural talents, but it takes a lot of work and development — that is why some scouts don’t have him in the first half of the first round.

Pre-Draft Rankings

#8 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)

#24 by Elite Prospects

#25 by Scott Wheeler/The Athletic

#28 by Craig Button/TSN

#20 by Dobber Prospects

What Scouts Are Saying

Rosén’s a slippery goal-scoring winger who just looks talented in possession. On the attack, he’s a crafty handler who sneaks through traffic to navigate in and out of space in control, drawing attention as he goes. A lot of the tools he hones are also the ones required of smaller players in today’s game. He’s inventive. He’s a light, fluid skater who changes directions in an instant and beats defenders off of cuts. And his ability as a marksman really can’t be overstated. His shot is pinpoint accurate (both his one-timer and especially his wrister) and he makes a ton of quick adjustments before he releases the puck to catch goalies and defenders off guard. Though his mentality is to look to attack the slot to score, he’s also got great touch with the puck when play breaks down and he has to improvise or make a play to a linemate. He’s going to have to learn to play a little differently to build towards a scoring role at pro levels and there were times this season in the SHL where he looked a little overwhelmed and timid (which differs starkly from what he’s like against his peers), but if the right team is willing to be patient with him, the payoff could be worth it.

-Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

Despite his small frame, Rosén’s acceleration and control have made him a mainstay in the Leksand lineup. His aforementioned speed helps to create odd-man rushes and breakaway opportunities. His vision pairs with this, making him a dependable playmaker. Although shadowed at times by his strengths, his lack of size and physicality is still noticeable, particularly along the boards. Gaining more muscle will not happen overnight, but it should not be a major detriment to his long-term future.

-Alexa Potack, Dobber Prospects

Rosen hasn’t popped yet at the pro level, but as a junior, between the J20 and international level, he looks like a dangerous scorer at wing. Rosen is very creative with his one-on-one play, showing the ability to beat defenders clean with consistency. Rosen has impressive speed and is able to make a lot of his skilled plays through defenders and to teammates while on the move. His game has a lot of pace to it, which should translate to higher levels. Rosen didn’t get a shot grade but he shows flashes of an above-average shot. He’s OK off the puck, but he doesn’t shy from making plays to the net. In a sentence, Rosen projects as a middle-six NHL winger.

-Corey Pronman, The Athletic

Would He Fit In With The Wild?

Honestly, I don’t think so. It would be great watching these highlights when he’s just considered a prospect, but when you view his full game and get exposed to what he is as a player, it might annoy some people and coaches to the peak of eruption. He appears to not be a physical player whatsoever, meaning that on a team like the Wild, you would need to cater to his needs and partner him up with stable defensive players, just to try and come out as a net even against NHL competition.

During his time in the SHL, Rosén had a tough time protecting the puck and appeared to be a little frail. If he is able to round out his overall game and his frame, then he would make sense for Minnesota.

Could The Wild Get Him?

As the theme of this post kind of rolls on, NHL scouts are going to love the skill, but it is still a risk to take a player that has been given the world in terms of talent, but still needs some defensive development. Sometimes it works exceptionally, but sometimes it’s a trainwreck and that player just stays overseas because they can make a living scoring highlight goals for the rest of their life.

With the 21st and 25th picks, I think that he would be available to the Wild, but it just depends if they want to take him — he doesn’t seem like a very Judd Brackett-type pick.

A Minnesota Relation

All flash with no substance players are rare in Minnesota. You want to say it’s the top players that they’ve had, but it’s difficult to determine if that’s really the case. Maybe it’s Marion Gaborik if he cared even less about defense during his time with the Wild?

It’s all fun and games, so let’s just say it’s him.

This draft board isn’t a ranking, it’s just the order in which we published our draft profiles and some guys we just wanted to write about.

2021 NHL Draft Board

  1. Owen Power — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  2. Matthew Beniers — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  3. Brandt Clarke — D, HC Nove Zamky (Slovenia)
  4. Luke Hughes — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  5. Dylan Guenther — LW/RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
  6. Simon Edvinsson — D, Frolunda (SHL)
  7. William Eklund — C/LW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
  8. Kent Johnson — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
  9. Mason McTavish — C/W, Peterborough Petes/EHC Olten (OHL/Swiss)
  10. Carson Lambos — D, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
  11. Aatu Raty — C, Kärpät (Liiga)
  12. Chaz Lucius — C, USNTDP Juniors (USHL), U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
  13. Cole Sillinger — C, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
  14. Sasha Pastujov — LW, U.S. National U18 team (USDP)
  15. Jesper Wallstedt — G, Luleå HF (SHL)
  16. Fabian Lysell — RW, Luleå HF (SHL)
  17. Matthew Coronato — LW, Chicago Steel (USHL)
  18. Oskar Olausson — F, HV71 (HockeyAllsvenskan/Swedish)
  19. Corson Ceulemans — D, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
  20. Fyodor Svechkov — C, Togliatti (VHL)
  21. Brennan Othmann — LW, EHC Olten (SL)
  22. Zach Bolduc — C, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)
  23. Xavier Bourgault — C, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
  24. Olen Zellweger — D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)
  25. Isak Rosén — LW/RW, Leksands IF (SHL)