Jonatan Berggren is one of the players that saw their stock rise considerably to close out the season. Many saying that they saw his skill earlier in the year and it was just a matter of time before his notoriety met that talent.
Berggren tore up the SuperElit in Sweden and got a cup of coffee in the SHL this season before ending the year on a high note at the U18 World Junior Championships.
He is a dynamic and hyper-skilled player who can make things happen offensively in so many ways that you can understand why everyone is so excited about him. Add the fact that his underlying numbers were through the roof and there is legitimate reason for his rise into the first round.
All aboard the Berggren hype train with the next stop being the 20th overall ranking in the CanucksArmy prospect rankings for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.17/ July 16, 2000
- Frame:5-foot-11/ 185 lbs
- Draft Year Team:Skelleftea AIK J20(Superelit)
- TV-Pucken Most Assists (18)
- TV-Pucken Most Goals (9)
- TV-Pucken Most Points (27)
- TV-Pucken Playoffs Most Assists (8)
- U17 WHC Gold Medal
- Hlinka Memorial Bronze Medal
- J20 SuperElit (North) Most Assists (21)
- J20 SuperElit (North) Most Points (34)
- J20 SuperElit (Overall) Most Assists (39)
- J20 SuperElit (Overall) Most Points (57)
- J20 SuperElit (Overall) Most Points by U18 Junior (57)
- J20 SuperElit (Top) Most Assists (18)
- SHL SM-silver Medal
- U18 WJC Bronze Medal
Berggren also represented Sweden at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament prior to the season beginning – he posted three goals and two assists in five games en route to a bronze medal. As mentioned above, his final coming out party was the U18 World Juniors to close out his draft season that saw him lead the Swedes in scoring with 10 points.
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Berggren excels in almost all categories at the SuperElit level with the exception of shots per game. He does have a lofty shooting percentage that will likely regress, however, both are not really a concern as he ended the U18’s with 29 shots in 7 games – so it’s not like he isn’t afraid to shoot when the opportunity arises despite being more known as a playmaker.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
Berggren is alone in his own world in terms of 5v5 eP60 points and made every one of his most common linemates better when looking at GF% WOWY.
Looking at his SHL play, 21.6% of comparable players went onto becoming NHL regulars. It is important to note that he averaged 7:17 of ice time in those 10 SHL games and thus was held off the scoresheet. Just appearing in SHL games as a draft-eligible player is a good sign.
As we can see from the table above (under 2017-18 season heading) – 100% of comparable players from his SuperElit production went onto becoming regulars.
There is so much to like about Berggren from the qualitative and quantitative angles.
Berggren is a high energy and skilled winger that doesn’t give up on a play. He plays an intense brand of hockey that is fast-paced and relentless. His skating is very quick with good acceleration, top speed and elusiveness that helps him maintain that style of play. Combine that with great agility and edge work, and Berggren’s skating is among the most complete when comparing him to his peers in this draft class.
The left-handed winger has a quick snapshot and wrist shot that he can release in stride. It’s deceptive when exiting his blade, accurate, and has some serious velocity.
He also has some serious playmaking abilities that he used regularly to set up our 59th ranked prospect, Albin Eriksson. Berggren will draw opponents to him through his puck possession before making that perfect pass to an open teammate. If that option is not available, Berggren has really soft and quick hands that allow him to dangle around as he sees fit.
Even after the whistle – Breggren will not be checked pic.twitter.com/LKdplNcBq7
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) April 24, 2018
Despite being only 5’11”, Berggren will mix it up in the dirty areas along the boards and in front. We’ve talked about his playmaking and shot above but Berggren is willing to drive the net regularly. He takes a couple of quick strides to get the lane, puts the shoulder down, and goes to the net. He doesn’t put himself in situations where he could get run over but instead recognizes when the right opportunity arises and goes for it. It’s also where some of his assists come from, as his first chance will be stopped but the mayhem he has created allows his linemate to follow it up and bury it.
He won’t get intimidated by larger players and doesn’t give up on the play. He’ll beak back at players after battles but doesn’t get chippy too often. He’ll just get in position and start the whole thing over again through his fierce play.
When on the attack – Berggren has creativity, confidence, and vision to create offence in a variety of ways. The work ethic that he possesses allows him to be dogged on the puck and do it all himself or set-up other players.
On the backcheck, the Uppsala born winger continues his unyielding puck pursuit and tenacity. When the puck gets in his own zone, he is smart with his reads and containments along the boards. There are very little concerns about his defensive game as a winger.
It’s fair to believe that the SuperElit is rising in terms of skill level as there a plethora of players in this draft class who dominated that league and then only got a cup of coffee in the SHL. Berggren is the headliner of those players in the forward ranks and likely would’ve seen more time in the top league had Skelleftea not been a top-five team in the league. The league appears to be churning out talent and we may see more of a stream out of there rather than just the top leagues.
His 57 points led all players in the SuperElit by five points and just reinforce how well he played all year. Under other circumstances or another organization, Berggren probably would’ve seen a full-time role in the Allsvenskan or the SHL. His underlying numbers, including his GF% of 66.2% and GFREL% of +17.1%, show that he was an effective two-way player as well.
The young Swede has a high ceiling as an offensive player that with a sustained role in the SHL next season, he could make some noise.
The usual ‘eye-test’ scouting services (which are below) are still a little leery about his effectiveness but when you combine his intangibles, play and underlying numbers, Berggren checks out as a first-round talent. I would have no issue with him being selected a few spots higher than the 20th spot and have him ranked as such.
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An absolute wrecking ball of a player who has been posting tremendous numbers in the J20 circuit. Logs miles of ice as he fore checks with impunity, distributes the puck and knows how to finish as well. Terrific Hlinka and Five Nations offer scouts a glimpse of his skill on some big stages and he’s even looked capable in a 10 game stint in the SHL.
From Future Considerations:
An undersized but agile forward, he can buzz with the puck. Very quick on his skates. He’s hard to catch. A pain to defend. His low balance makes his hard for bigger and stronger players to knock him down. He plays a very high-paced and intense brand of hockey. He is constantly looking for ways to beat his opponents and generate offense. He is a constant threat when the puck is in his possession. Elusive, according to scouts. He has quick hands and can beat defenders one-on-one. The way he can handle the puck at high speeds is impressive. His vision and awareness allow him to escape tight situations. He shows great composure with the puck, reading opponents, and waiting to make the correct play. He can operate the point on the power play – and he has shown he can score. When he steps in from the blue line – a common occurrence – he can unleash his goalscorer’s wrist shot, snappy and accurate. Plus, he competes very hard in all three zones. Defensively, he fights hard to win puck battles, backchecking with passion, trying to pickpocket the attackers. A bit of a thief that way. This is a player with a very diverse set of tools. On the ice, he’s a leader, chatting constantly with his teammates. But he can also show frustration when calls by the officials go against him or his club.
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CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings