With the 40th pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Vancouver Canucks selected Swedish forward Nils Hoglander.
Welcome to Vancouver, Nils! pic.twitter.com/oAiSt2C7nV
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) June 22, 2019
Hoglander possesses great speed and used his skilled stick handling for Rogle BK in the SHL this past season. Playing his entire regular season in the top league in Sweden, the 18-year-old has experience against tough competition.
Standing at 5-foot-9 but doesn’t play like it at all. Using his physicality in the offensive zone to protect the puck, Hoglander was able to seem comfortable playing in a men’s league.
It’s usually the top picks that visually seem to blend in against players much older than him, but Hoglander did not seem out of place in the SHL this season. Through 50 games played this season, he was able to score seven goals and 14 points.
His 14 points last season placed fifth among all under-19 players in the SHL last season — including 2018 first-round pick Dominik Bokk and overages Samuel Fagemo.
Hoglander was ranked 11th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, 19th at EliteProspects, and 29th by Future Considerations — was generally considered a first-round talent.
With the Canucks drafting this undersized winger with high-ceiling skill, it provides a solid addition to selecting Vasili Podkolzin with their first pick on Friday. Podkolzin plays extremely heavy but supplements that physicality with skill, while Hoglander won’t tower over anyone but still plays a hard-style game.
The Canucks’ 2019 third-round pick was traded in the J.T. Miller trade, the next time they will be on the clock will be in the fourth round.