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With the 25th Overall Pick, the Leafs select… Jonatan Berggren?

Who is Jonatan Berggren?

The Swedish winger has been surging up the rankings lately – consistently being in the 20-35 range in most circulating mock drafts. He spent most of last year destroying the competition in the SuperElit U20 league, but has also tasted what it is like playing against men in the SHL for a short stint of ten games.

Berggren is extremely elusive on the ice and uses his agility to move around his 5’10” and 181-pound frame. He can control the puck well enough to attack from multiple areas in the zone and timely distribute it to his teammates – a truly dynamic winger.

Where is Berggren Ranked?

Ranked #38 by TSN/McKenzie
NHL Central Scouting clearly has not caught up with the Berggren hypetrain. As stated before, Berggren is most likely to be available in the late-1st/early-2nd round, perfect for the Leafs position.

What do the Numbers Say About Berggren?

from eliteprospects.com

Berggren was far and away the best player in the SuperElit this season, his 1.50 Pts/GP stands alone at the top. The closest player statistically to him was Emil Bemström, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect that is more than two years older than Berggren, posted a 1.39 Pts/GP.

Historically, Berggren’s season in the SuperElit was one of the best in recent memory. Among all U18 players of all-time, Berggren sits 4th in points – just behind Michael Holmqvist, Lias Andersson, and Jesper Boqvist.

If you are interested in more in-depth statistical analysis and projection of the player that Berggren can become, I would advise you to check out Ryan Biech’s post about him in the CanucksArmy draft ranking series.

What Are Scouts Saying About Berggren?

Berggren is a high energy and skilled winger that doesn’t give up on a play. He plays an intense brand of hockey that is fast-paced and relentless.  His skating is very quick with good acceleration, top speed and elusiveness that helps him maintain that style of play. Combine that with great agility and edge work, and Berggren’s skating is among the most complete when comparing him to his peers in this draft class.

The left-handed winger has a quick snapshot and wrist shot that he can release in stride. It’s deceptive when exiting his blade, accurate, and has some serious velocity.

– Ryan Biech

 

An absolute wrecking ball of a player who has been posting tremendous numbers in the J20 circuit. Logs miles of ice as he fore checks with impunity, distributes the puck and knows how to finish as well. Terrific Hlinka and Five Nations offer scouts a glimpse of his skill on some big stages and he’s even looked capable in a 10 game stint in the SHL.

Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects

 

The Eye Test

You can clearly see the agility and skill that Berggren has as a winger. He can move pretty much anywhere on the ice and be an effective offensive threat. Berggren plays with such excitement and energy, it’s tantalizing to watch at times.

His stellar performance at the U18 Worlds put him on the map and his stock has been rising since. From the video above, it’s quite evident as to why.

He seems to play with the same style as the “playmaking winger” type that is growing more popular in the NHL; a winger that plays like a centreman traditionally would.

Why Should the Leafs Draft Berggren?

Any team could use more offense and Berggren is oozing with high offensive ability. He doesn’t give up on any play, so you know Babcock and fellow coaches alike will love that about his game.

If the Leafs are strong at any position, it’s the wing, but as Berggren matures in the SHL and beyond, one never knows what the Leafs’ situation on wing will be like in a couple years. He is the definition of Best Player Available.

If Berggren can reach his potential, he will be able to join the upper echelon of offensive threats on the Leafs. Having yet another highly-skilled winger is certainly not a problem in the modern NHL.


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