Adam Ginning is a prospect that has caused some decisive opinions in the scouting community.
Ranked as the 5th best European prospect by NHL Central Scouting Services, Ginning is considered a defensive defenceman who has good size and physicality that is suited for the North American game. He is good at moving the puck and is a decent skater. Combining all those attributes, it’s understandable why some people are high on him but Ginning’s ceiling at the NHL is likely quite low and thus some places are not as sold on the defender.
We’ll dissect that game of Ginning as he comes in as the 57th ranked player in the CanucksArmy prospect rankings for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.67/ January 13, 2000
- Birthplace: Linkoping, SWE
- Frame:6-foot-3/ 196 lbs
- Position: Defence
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: Linkoping HC(SHL)
- U16 Elit (South) Most Assists by Defenseman (11)
- TV-Pucken Most Assists by Defenseman (9)
- TV-Pucken Most Points by Defenseman (11)
- J18 SM Bronze Medal
- U17 WHC Gold Medal
- Hlinka Memorial Bronze Medal
- U18 WJC Bronze Medal
- U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team
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His numbers in the table are from his time in the SHL, while the numbers in the percentiles image are from his games in the SuperElit.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
There are some red flags here and indicates that Ginning struggled at the SHL level. With the exception of KenAndre Olimb, Ginning’s linemates produce worse results when on the ice with Ginning than without him. Given that the young prospect appeared in over half the games and struggled to push the needle in any way. He struggled to produce any offence, well below his defensive partners and had abysmal goals for percentages with a GFREL% of -23.8%. His shot generation rates were extremely low but he did average 11:33 of ice time during the SHL regular season.
The reoccurring theme of ‘play in the SHL during your draft year and it looks good for your success rate’ continues with Ginning.
The fact that appeared in 12 games as a 17-year-old last season was another indicator that Ginning was on the to becoming a legit NHL prospect and likely why many pundits were intrigued to see what he could do this season.
Regardless, a 30.8% success rate among cohorts is really encouraging numbers for any prospect entering into the draft and the fact that he has two years of SHL on his resume provides a positive outlook from this analytical tool.
Mentioned off the top that he was ranked 5th among European skaters, which was one spot ahead of Jesperi Kotkoniemi. Without a doubt, Ginning was ranked too high there.
The most important part about Ginning to discuss first is how highly public services seem to have him. He has been listed in some rankings as a first-round pick as recently as last week and lands regularly in 30’s and 40’s. The market has cooled on him a bit as other prospects exceeded expectations to close out their seasons and Ginning just kept doing what he does.
Without a doubt, his play in the SHL during the 2016-17 season was something that many analysts looking at him as a potential breakout player this year. He was a defensive player but is still skilled and able to make a good pass.
It’s easy to just label him as a big, physical, defensive defenceman and thus would conclude that he lacks skill but there have been flashes of that skill level peaking through. His first goal in the SHL was a good display of that:
Some scouts say that his mobility and skating is an impressive facet of his game but I’ve found him to not be particularly quick on his feet with decent pivoting and transitional movements.
He can struggle to process the game when it’s coming at him with speed. His ability to recognize attackers speed, adjust his own speed, and then eliminate that threat accordingly will be something that he needs to improve.
If he isn’t caught by that speed, he is effective in his own zone by using his strength,size and long reach to keep his opponents to the outside. When he does retrieve the puck, he makes crisp passes to his partner or forwards to get it out, but isn’t someone who will skate the puck out himself regularly.
He has a good slapshot and decent wrist shot that he generally doesn’t get to use due to lack of creativity in the offensive zone and the unwillingness to carry the puck himself. He’s shown flashes of skating with the puck and does need to do it more often.
Simply put, his game is simple with some smart plays but has trouble processing quickly.
Overall, I am a fan of his game and think he could be an NHL player because of the physical attributes to his game. There are some encouraging skills there and they appear from time to time that leaves you thinking that it will continue, and then it sort of doesn’t.
Ginning had strong showings at the 5 Nations Cup and U18 tournaments in the later parts of the season and showed signs of improving his overall game. There were still some issues there but overall it was a markedly improved effort compared to some earlier game action. He generally played the role of ‘safety net’ defender for the more offensive inclined defenders like Adam Boqvist (and others).
Those underlying numbers at the SHL level are a real concern for someone like myself and can’t be dismissed as a small sample size due to 28 games played at that level.
The Linkoping native has the skillset to think that he is a safe pick but it’s not that simple. He could go earlier than we have him ranked because of his skill-set and the fact that he was able to excel with a highly skilled partner but he will need to do things quicker to make an impact at the NHL level.
He will be a longer-term project and it’s understandable why there is an attraction to him as a prospect in this draft class. That debate about him as a prospect likely won’t die down for many years.
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From Bill Placzek, The Draft Site:
Big physical defender whose skating, footwork, and pivots improved dramatically over the season. As a defender, he initiates contact, making big hits and rubbing on attackers with regularity. Plays big minutes against the better opponents and on the penalty kill. His pivots have shown improvements and he get on the back pedal and has tightened his gaps. After transition in his own end, he uses his partner for dee to dee passer and clears his zone effectively with solid outlet passes. Really long armed and has soft hands with passes and receptions as he moves up ice. Effective and creative with cross ice feeds and jumping up driving the play into the attack zone. This big man reads the offensive end as smart as anyone and can create as well as rub opponents hard. Arguably, was the best Swedish player in the Five Nations Tourney.There is long term potential in his selection, because he is a player who showed tons of improvement in his footwork, and over all agility, taking steps of confidence in his involvement in the offensive zone. Upside is there to continue improving past being though of as a big physical defender with a huge wingspan who handlers the puck well.