4 draft-eligible prospects that played in the SHL during the 2020-21 season: Scouting with Faber #2
By Faber1 year ago
The SHL is one of the top five hockey leagues in the world. It is a league where speed and skill thrive as long passes and dekes make highlight-reel goals a common occurrence in Sweden’s top league.
It’s a tough league to play in but with COVID hitting it hard and other circumstances, there were a few 2022 draft-eligible prospects who got a chance to play in the SHL as 16 or 17-year-olds last year during the 2020-21 season.
I noticed a few of them last year and wrote them down in an old Google doc that I found the other day. Lately, I went into the film on four players and wanted to bring them up as there are a couple of prospects who could be there for the Canucks if they are picking in the 14-24 range of the first round. I’ve got one player who’s a hulking Swede projected to go in the second round and a defender who’s not highly ranked but has some skill in his game that is worth noting.
So, in this instalment of Scouting with Faber, let’s look at four draft-eligible players who laced them up in the SHL last season.
Marco Kasper, RW/C, Rögle BK
Coming in at 6’1”, 185 lbs, the speedy winger Marco Kasper should end up being a serious option for the Canucks’ first-round pick if they end up making the playoffs this season.
Kasper is mostly a winger but has seen a handful of J20 games this season as a centre and played centre for Austria as he captained them in the World Junior Championships. Kasper looks to be more of a winger moving forward though, he’s a winger in his SHL play this season and going 1/15 in a WJC game against Finland might have been the final straw that broke the camel’s back on scouts believing he should be a centre.
When Kasper is on the wing, he does a lot of very exciting things with the puck. He’s a strong skater who loves to carry the puck through the neutral zone and has some of the Conor Garland spin-obsessed style once on the boards.
Here’s an example of Kasper going in after a dump-in, chasing down the puck, shaking a defender with some shimmies and then sending the puck up to the point for what would turn into a secondary assist.
Kasper skates with great pace and that’s one of the main reasons why I believe he’s ranked 17-25th in most of the top hockey scouting sites’ rankings.
His skating is strong in the draft class but the part that should be focused on is how he is always giving high effort. This next clip isn’t a goal or an assist, or even a scoring chance. This next play is simply an effort play by a player who wants to backcheck hard. It’s the little clips like this that you love to find when digging deeper into a prospect. (Kasper comes into view from the left)
To go with his strong skating, Kasper has great hands along the boards and can fire a strong shot when the situation presents itself.
His shot looks like it could use some work mechanically. He doesn’t seem to use his body weight to help the shot as it feels like he’s light in the stick for shots from distance. When he gets time and space, he leans into his shot a bit more but still needs to show better weight transfer on wrist shots.
Our favourite part about his game is the combination of stick-handling and skating. Kasper’s high-end projection gets him to be a middle-six winger at the NHL but has a floor of being a burner on a fourth line with the skills to move up in a lineup when needed.
We will see how the rest of his draft year goes but right now, Kasper is spending most of his time in the SHL. He saw his minutes drop off in November and December but he is back to playing 11-14 minutes a game for Rögle of late. Kasper has currently dressed for 27 SHL games and nine J20 games this season.
As mentioned earlier, he is projected by most sites to be somewhere between 17-25 when it comes to top-ranked players in this draft.
Shoutout to EliteProapects for this rankings list.
Kasper is an interesting prospect who will be a first-round pick this year. He’s an Austrian playing in Sweden and will likely want to get to North America sooner than later.
Hugo Fransson, D, HV71
Coming in at 5’11” and 165 lbs, Hugo Fransson is a ways away from coming over to North America to play hockey. He played in three SHL games in the 2020-21 season. Getting six minutes twice and 13 minutes for the final game. These SHL games came before HV71 got demoted to the Allsvenskan league. HV71 is currently atop the Allsvenskan standings and is making a push back to the SHL.
As for Fransson, he is a smooth-skating defenceman who loves to shoot the puck. We tracked a J20 game where he had 12 shot attempts in 19:25 of ice time.
Here’s one of his goals this season as he rushes up the ice and rips home a wrist shot for an unassisted goal.
Some of his primary assists are pretty setups as well. On this play, he fires a pass through the wickets on a defender and picks up the primary assist.
Some offensive traits intrigue us about this prospect but his defensive game doesn’t match his attacking skill. We have him pegged into the sixth or seventh round but a team could find some value with Fransson if his offence is able to grow.
Elias Salomonsson, D, Skelleftea
Here’s the simple explanation of Elias Salomonsso: If the Canucks sneak into the playoffs and lose in the first round, they should draft Elias Salomonsson with their first-round pick.
We are looking at a 6’1”, right-shot defenceman who has smoothie hands that make great passes and can be trusted to play defence. Salomonsson’s tape impressed me with how good of a job he does making accurate passes while under pressure. He very rarely panics with the puck on his stick and this is a great trait to have because, in the NHL, you don’t have time to think, it’s all about reacting. Reading and reacting is how Salmonsson makes plays in his own zone. He’s a breakout machine who snaps passes like a pro.
It’s one thing to be able to make tape-to-tape passes, but Salomonsson makes passes that lead players into where they should be going. His passes are crisp and slice through the neutral zone like an energy sword through a jackal.
He’s had that breakout ability and passing skill on display during international play. In U18 competition, Salomonsson is over a point per game player and has come up huge for Sweden in important moments. That includes this slap-pass in the final minute of a tie game against rival country Finland.
There’s some physicality in his game as well. I’ll be curious to see how he evolves as he grows into a bigger, stronger man. Right now, he looks to be much stronger than the J20 players that he is matching up against.
That’s good news because he is also only 175ish pounds and could see to add another 25-35 pounds before we see him in the NHL. He already has good strength and will have a couple of years to add more.
He is solid defensively and has a very high upside as a two-way defender. His strong defensive play along with his good puck-moving skills make him the type of defence prospect who has a ceiling of being a top-pair support defenceman. The type of right-shot defenceman who plays with a Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, or Quinn Hughes.
With a birthdate of August 31st, 2004, he is one of the youngest players in the draft. He is 15 days off from being a 2023 draft-eligible player.
Yes, I’m not kidding, he was born in 2004.
With his high-end potential, strength in both ends of the ice and ability to move the puck, Salomonsson should be a mid to late first-round pick and is a nice piece for the Canucks when you look at their prospect pool and evaluate their needs.
Keep an eye on Elias Salomonsson.
Filip Bystedt, C, Linkoping
Very tall, very big, and very strong.
This is what everyone is saying about the 6’4” hulking Swede who was born, raised and is currently playing in Linköping, Sweden.
After getting a short run in the SHL last year, Filip Bystedt is spending most of this current season in the Swedish J20 league where he has 11 goals and 17 assists in 27 games. Bystedt has been busy as he has also dressed for 15 SHL games this year and just recently scored his first SHL goal.
Bystedt is a big centreman who has a strong shot and uses his size to find space in the slot to get said shot off. He’s had a very productive year in the J20 league, here’s a montage of his goals from distance so far this season.
Bystedt had only scored one goal in the SHL this year and it came off a brutal giveaway that gave him an opportunity to rip a shot from his favourite spot on the ice.
His size and shot have many excited about his potential but his overall footspeed is the reason that will keep him out of the first round. 15 years ago, Bystedt would have looked like a potential top-10 pick but in the new NHL, speed rules all and that is one of the knocks in Bystedt’s game.
He’s an interesting prospect to take a swing on with a second-round pick and as the Canucks are without a second-round pick, I doubt Bystedt is in play without making some trades of draft picks to get him. Bystedt is ranked in the top-50 of most major scouting sites and with his size and scoring ability along with him being a centre, it’s very unlikely that he falls out of the second round.
So, this wraps up another part of the Scouting with Faber series. I hope you are enjoying the information and video dumps as much as I am enjoying putting them together. If you enjoy or hate these types of articles, let me know in the comments.
If there’s a certain league, player-type, estimated round or any other type of 2022 NHL draft prospect type of idea you’d like me to write on, please let me know in the comments!
We will be back with another edition of this series soon!
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