Prospect Profile: #9 Henrik Tommernes

Jeff Angus
August 20 2013 09:57AM


Image via Matthew Henderson

Henrik Tommernes isn’t your typical prospect. For one, he turned 23 this past summer, making him significantly older than most players on this list. And for two, he has five years of experience playing in a professional hockey league.

Tommernes didn’t crack our top 20 last year (in what could be seen as a slight oversight), but he places in the top 10 this year for a few reasons.

Read on to find out what they are.

After Frank Corrado, Tommernes could have the most upside among any Canucks defenseman in the prospect pool. That could be seen as a positive comment regarding his recent development, but it is also indicative of a very shallow back end (especially with the Canucks choosing not to sign Jeremy Price last week).

Tommernes was drafted 210th overall back in 2011. If he turns out anything like another Swede who was selected 210th overall in his draft year, the Canucks will be pretty happy.

He has been an effective offensive defenseman at every level of hockey in Sweden. In 2007-08, he led the Swedish under-18 league (the J18 Allsvenskan) in points by a defenseman. That was a sign of things to come, as the next season he led the J20 SuperElit in goals and points from a blue liner.

The next season, he ranked third in offensive production among defensemen, trailing only Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Mattias Ekholm (Nashville prospect). He made the jump up to the SEL with Frolunda full-time in 2010 (he had played a combined 38 games in the SEL over the two previous seasons), and finished that season third in defensive production (20 points in 47 games) behind Ekholm and David Rundblad.

The track record is there, and his contemporaries are all in the mix for NHL roster spots this fall (and Ekman-Larsson is one of the very best in the league).

Tommernes is a phenomenal skater, he sees the ice well, and he has the ability to get his shots through traffic with regularity. His defensive issues still exist, but his play without the puck has come a long way over the past few years. In fact, he led Frolunda in total ice time in 2012-13 – not usually something done by a one-dimensional offensive defenseman.

For the sake of comparison, here is how his production in the SEL stacks up against some of his fellow Swedish defensemen:

Player

Age

Goals

Points

Enstrom

22

7

28

Tommernes

20

3

20

N. Kronwall

21

5

18

Tommernes

22

5

16

Ohlund

20

7

16

Tommernes

21

5

14

Enstrom

20

4

14

N. Kronwall

20

5

12

Enstrom

21

4

11

Karlsson

18

5

10

P. Larsen

20

1

10

Oduya

22

4

8

Oduya

23

2

6

I feel comfortable writing about Tommernes as I actually caught a few Frolunda games this year (lockout-induced, but enjoyed the hockey nonetheless). He was very noticeable (in a good way) every time I watched Frolunda play, but it won’t be until he takes the ice on North American-sized rinks that we can see how much work he has to do with his defensive game in order to get a shot with the Canucks.

Tommernes is listed on most sites as 6-0 (seems accurate) and 175-185 pounds (I’d wager he’s closer to the latter). He is a left-side, left-shooting defenseman, and he should be expected to play significant minutes for Utica this season. One reason the Canucks felt comfortable moving Kevin Connauton for the ghost of Derek Roy at the trade deadline may in fact be Tommernes – he is much more polished than Connauton is/was, and the two are similar defensemen in many ways.

Give Jeff a follow on Twitter ( @anguscertified ).

Other Prospect Profiles in This Series:

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Jeff shares his Canuck-related thoughts with the Army a few times per week. His work can also be found over at DobberHockey.com, as well as his personal blog, AngusCertified.com. Give him a follow on Twitter @anguscertified.
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#1 Mantastic
August 20 2013, 02:58PM
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@Fred-65

do not be fooled by these prospect profile rankings, the Canucks prospect pool is still below average compared against the league and the chances of any prospect across any system making it to the NHL is low.

you would need at least 5 prospects of Tommernes's grade to maybe have 1 pan out to become an NHLer.

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#2 NM00
August 20 2013, 03:14PM
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@Mantastic

Well said.

The Canucks prospects are their five 1st round picks, Corrado and a bunch of scratch and win tickets.

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#3 Mitch
August 20 2013, 01:31PM
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@Fred-65

Edler and Tanev don't count as prospects anymore, they're just good young defensemen (and Edler's 27 now, he isn't even that young). Corrado looked good, but it was a very brief stint and there's no way to know if he's legit. The other three, maybe they'll pan out and maybe they won't. The point is there's no sure-fire NHLers in the system, and that's pretty shallow.

As for teams with loads of defensive prospects, check out Nashville's prospect pool. There's a team that forgot you should probably draft forwards too.

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#4 Mantastic
August 20 2013, 04:58PM
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@Fred-65

you really can't rely on small sample sizes of players highlights and training camp to detemine if a player is going to be good or not.

every team in the league would take a prospect with coin-flip odds of making the NHL. average of any prospect making the NHL is way less than 20%. even 1st round picks have a less than 40% chance of becoming an impact player on an NHL team.

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#5 EricCantona
August 20 2013, 10:29AM
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Hope his game translates well into the North American ice; especially if the Canucks don't sign another d-man.

But wow.. 5 years pro already. Not sure if he's gonna be happy about taking the bus in the AHL.. lol

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#6 JFR
August 20 2013, 03:43PM
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5 years in pros sound pretty good to me. The ice surface may be a problem for a bit but he understands that playing hockey is your job. I think it's good to have a guy like this in Utica that can develope. The big club roster is set... Tanev not with standing and I'm putting Corrado in there also. Pretty sure Torts will also.

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#7 antro
August 20 2013, 12:00PM
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Leading his team in ice-team is pretty good for a 22 year old. Utica should be a good place for him, and if he can convert his game, that'll be a nice find. Any ideas why he has taken so long in trying to come over?

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#8 Fred-65
August 20 2013, 03:57PM
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@Mitch

No You can't consider Edler or Tanev propspects but you can show a trend in the Vcr scouting strength. They are young and were both drafted/signed by Vcr. Corrado is a certain addition by what I would judge from what I've watched going back to his 1st days at the prospects. He stood out immiediatly. McNally from the video I've watched has unreal skating and Tommernes has done well aleady in a major league ( SEL ) there's no reason to believe he doesn't have above average chance of success. Polasek is a coin flip. But he's tough can skate, and it's some thing Vcr is looking for.

Nashville is interesting but their senior scouts certainly have an eye for Defensemen. It's their calling card.

Portland Winterhawks strength used to be the BC minor hockey scene Vcr was Alberta. It just depends where your scouting strength lies.

Who can forget the days of Bob Brown in Kamloops years ago....that guy as a scout put that franchise of the WHL map

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#9 Spectrefire
August 20 2013, 11:53AM
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@EricCantona

I'm sure he understands that its part of the process. He needs to get used to North American ice, simple as that. If he's been patient enough through those 5 years, what's another year to ensure you have a legitimate shot at an NHL job?

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#10 antro
August 20 2013, 12:05PM
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antro wrote:

Leading his team in ice-team is pretty good for a 22 year old. Utica should be a good place for him, and if he can convert his game, that'll be a nice find. Any ideas why he has taken so long in trying to come over?

That would be "icetime" (not ice-team).

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#11 Fred-65
August 20 2013, 12:58PM
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I don't see the Canucks defensive prospects as being shallow in fact I see it as likely the strength of the team. Tanev, Corrado, McNally and Tommernes and remember Edler is no grey beard. Plus I think Polasek is a bit of a stay at home sleeper defenseman. Until the recent arrival of Horvat and Shinkaruk it was the forwards that was wanting in numbers and quality.

It's doubtful any teams are manned entirely by defensive draft picks but Vcr has more than a few looking forward.

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#12 Tommy Boy
August 20 2013, 03:56PM
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great writeup.

In the prospects camp via Cancuks.com, Tommy was the most noticeable d-man IMO. Wow he's a great skater, he's also smart, makes the right play - rarely caught out of position. Was def interesting watching him out there. His chances of making the Canucks are pretty high over the next 2 years, I still can't beleive they didn't sign PRice. Gillis has completely lost his mind.

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