Photo Credit: University of Maine


In the 89th slot of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft consolidated rankings is NCAA forward, Emil Westerlund.

With his draft plus two season now in the rearview mirror, Westerlund might be one of the ‘safe’ picks of this group of prospects. He has projectible skills and the size to compete in the AHL and possibly the NHL. He lacks any high upside and is a long shot to even reach those potentials but some of his scoring data suggests with a larger role he can produce more.

There are also some red flags there.

He isn’t a player that I would be tripping over myself to select at any point in the draft but could be convinced that he is worth a late round flyer.

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  • Age/Birthdate: 19.58/ February 16, 1998
  • Birthplace: Linkoping, SWE
  • Frame:6-foot-1/ 190 lbs
  • Position: Left Wing / Right Wing
  • Handedness: Left
  • Draft Year Team: of Maine(NCAA)
  • Accomplishments/Awards:
  • Season
    Awards by season
    • 2014-2015
      • J20 SM Bronze Medal
    • 2016-2017
      • J20 SuperElit (Overall) Most Goals (28)
      • J20 SuperElit (South) Most Goals (20)



2017-18 Season

GP G A P SEAL INV% 5v5 Pr INV% 5v5 eP160 Sh/Gp Sh% GF% GF%rel GD60rel XLS% XPR xVAL
34 7 6 13 0.43 12.5% 15.5% 2.24 0.00 0% 53.8% 1.6% 0.16 3% 25.0 0.2

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Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)

Team Relative


The underlying data suggest that Westerlund was a bit of a drag on his teammates when together but wasn’t a complete disaster. His estimated points per 60 are the positive from these charts as it shows that Westerlund was in a more limited role but produced quite well with the ice time afforded to him.

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Cohort Based

A mess of players and matches that indicate that Westerlund is a long shot make the NHL.

Our Take

Westerlund was on the fringes of my Top 100 rankings because I liked his game overall and think there is a chance that he can carve out a professional career here in North America. He makes an effort on every shift to get the puck and to turn it over. He is strong along the boards, using his frame to protect the puck and create lanes for himself.

He produced quite well in his final season in the J20 SuperElit in 2016-17 and then made the move to the NCAA this year. In my viewings of him, he didn’t stand out in any particular way but did make smart and strong plays throughout.

He will need to improve his foot speed and overall compete but both are not hindrances in his game.

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Overall, there were some suggestions that he was worth a late round flyer last season and his play this year in the NCAA shouldn’t change that. He’ll always have a low ceiling in the professional ranks, so it just really depends what an organization values what he brings. If I was running a draft table, I would swing for the fences on other players but if Westerlund does, in fact, get selected, it shouldn’t be a shock.

Since Westerlund just completed his Freshman season at the University of Maine, any selecting team will retain his rights for three years.

Further Reading

Consolidated Average Future Considerations Hockey Prospect.com ISS Hockey McKeen’s The Athletic TSN Bob McKenzie TSN Craig Button The Hockey News Sportsnet ESPN Dobber Prospects
UR 89.0

From Bill Placzek, The Draft Site:

Emerging power wing who plays at a high energy level. Good on the cycle and protects the puck well. Uses his frame to make space and get time. Keeps moving and causes problems shift after shift. Still developing his skating and will need time to develop.

CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings

#90 Jerry Turkulainen #91 Stanislav Demin
#92 Tyler Madden #93 Jan Jenik #94 Olivier Rodrigue
#95 Xavier Bernard #96 Kristian Tanus #97 LUKAS WERNBLOM


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