He may not be Danish, but otherwise the comparison to Jannik Hansen sounds pretty apt.
As first reported by Daniel Wagner on Friday, Ludwig Blomstrand has signed with the Canucks and looks set to head to Chicago.
The six-foot-one forward is speedy, has a good sense of what to do in his own end and could blossom into a useful mid-order skater.
For more news in Swedish, click past the jump!
(Actually, there’s no Swedish, but click anyway…)
When we look back at Jannik Hansen’s track, we see a player who was told to work very hard at everything he did. It worked.
Hansen was drafted out of the Danish league, before being sent for a season to Portland of the WHL. He was a point-per-game player in his lone WHL season as a 19-year-old. From there, his ascent into the NHL was pretty quick. He spent the entire 06-07 regular season in Manitoba but was called up for 10 NHL playoff games at the end of the season. He began to win over fans with his gritty, checking-winger approach against Dallas and Anaheim that spring.
Before the season, we did our top twenty prospects; Blomstrand didn’t make the list. Quite simply, we didn’t know what to make of him. He’s come a long way this season. To even be compared with Hansen is high praise.
Will Blomstrand follow a similar path? He heads to a Chicago lineup that’s seen a lot of turnover this season. Between the lockout, callups and a rash of injuries, the Wolves have deployed 41 players this season. Even so, he doesn’t have a clear route into the lineup.
The disappointing Anton Rodin is already fighting to get back into the lineup and it will be hard for Scott Arniel to sit down favourites like Guillaume Desbiens, Mike Davies and Tim Miller. But that’s where Blomstrand’s prospect status will help him – the Canucks are in assessment mode and will want to see how he does in a North American setting.
When you see him skate, we do see where the similarities to Hansen begin (yes, yes, he shoots left, Hansen shoots right):