For the 66th ranked prospect in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, we hop across the pond to Sweden for centre Oskar Back.
The pivot listed as Oscar or Oskar in various places, but we are talking about the same guy.
Back is a safe player who does the little things well. He may lack a high upside but has generally performed well everywhere he has gone.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.51/ March 12, 2000
- Birthplace:Hammaro, SWE
- Frame:6-foot-2/ 198 lbs
- Position:Centre / Right Wing
- Draft Year Team:Farjestad BK(SHL)
- TV-Pucken Gold Medal
- J20 SuperElit (Forts) Best Face-Off Percentage (62.64)
- U17 WHC Gold Medal
- U18 WJC Best Face-Off Percentage (75.41)
- U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team
- Hlinka Memorial Bronze Medal
- U18 WJC Bronze Medal
Growing up in the Farjestad system, Back will make his way to Karlskroga for the 2018-19 season where it’s expected that he will get a larger role in the second division Allsvenskan. Back has been a regular representing Sweden at the various international tournaments.
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Back saw consistent production throughout the year in the SuperElit, ending the season with a GF% above 60%. His production saw him get some games with the big club in the SHL and that is always a good sign for a draft eligible prospect, despite him failing to register a point in those 14 games.
The table above is based on his stats in the SHL, while the three graphs are based on his SuperElit.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
For the most part, Back made his teammates better when paired together than apart. He posted decent 5v5 eP60 and GF% when looking at his most common linemates.
His production at the SuperElit level wasn’t particularly noteworthy but the fact that he got into some SHL games over the year is always an indicator of success. Based on his SuperElit production, his closest statistically comparable player at the same age is Carolina Hurricanes forward Victor Rask. Obviouly, when we look at his SHL production, it’s at 0.0% but even just one point would’ve dramatically changed it.
Despite representing Sweden multiple times over the last few years scouting reports on Oskar Back are few and far between.
— USA Hockey Arena (@USAHockeyArena) February 17, 2018
Back is smart centreman who can play in all three zones – he is strong along the boards and when someone is hanging on to check him. He’s smart, cerebal, and uses his teammates effectively to create offence. He makes himself noticeable in a variety of ways but doesn’t always find the back of the net. Which isn’t a bad thing per say but something that I have generally noticed about him.
The Hammaro native seems to be a team first type of player, willing to take on any role to help his team. He is able to use his hockey IQ to make an impact on the game, even it doesn’t show up on the scoresheet. The argument can be made that given his game, he will lack any high-end offensive upside.
At the SuperElit level, he finished the year with the second most points despite playing seven fewer games than the leading scorer.
The biggest flaw to his game is his ability to skate – he isn’t fleet of foot and it will need to be improved.
It’s been mentioned in other profiles, but just appearing in SHL games during your draft year is a good sign for future success as evidenced by the 20.5% success rate among SHL cohorts. He will get a larger role in the Allsvenskan next season and does a lot of the little details of the game well.
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