Henrik Tommernes isn’t your typical prospect. For one, he turned 23 this past summer, making him significantly older than most players on this list. And for two, he has five years of experience playing in a professional hockey league.
Tommernes didn’t crack our top 20 last year (in what could be seen as a slight oversight), but he places in the top 10 this year for a few reasons.
Read on to find out what they are.
After Frank Corrado, Tommernes could have the most upside among any Canucks defenseman in the prospect pool. That could be seen as a positive comment regarding his recent development, but it is also indicative of a very shallow back end (especially with the Canucks choosing not to sign Jeremy Price last week).
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Tommernes was drafted 210th overall back in 2011. If he turns out anything like another Swede who was selected 210th overall in his draft year, the Canucks will be pretty happy.
He has been an effective offensive defenseman at every level of hockey in Sweden. In 2007-08, he led the Swedish under-18 league (the J18 Allsvenskan) in points by a defenseman. That was a sign of things to come, as the next season he led the J20 SuperElit in goals and points from a blue liner.
The next season, he ranked third in offensive production among defensemen, trailing only Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Mattias Ekholm (Nashville prospect). He made the jump up to the SEL with Frolunda full-time in 2010 (he had played a combined 38 games in the SEL over the two previous seasons), and finished that season third in defensive production (20 points in 47 games) behind Ekholm and David Rundblad.
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The track record is there, and his contemporaries are all in the mix for NHL roster spots this fall (and Ekman-Larsson is one of the very best in the league).
Tommernes is a phenomenal skater, he sees the ice well, and he has the ability to get his shots through traffic with regularity. His defensive issues still exist, but his play without the puck has come a long way over the past few years. In fact, he led Frolunda in total ice time in 2012-13 – not usually something done by a one-dimensional offensive defenseman.
For the sake of comparison, here is how his production in the SEL stacks up against some of his fellow Swedish defensemen:
Player
Age
Goals
Points
Enstrom
22
7
28
Tommernes
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20
3
20
N. Kronwall
21
5
18
Tommernes
22
5
16
Ohlund
20
7
16
Tommernes
21
5
14
Enstrom
20
4
14
N. Kronwall
20
5
12
Enstrom
21
4
11
Karlsson
18
5
10
P. Larsen
20
1
10
Oduya
22
4
8
Oduya
23
2
6
I feel comfortable writing about Tommernes as I actually caught a few Frolunda games this year (lockout-induced, but enjoyed the hockey nonetheless). He was very noticeable (in a good way) every time I watched Frolunda play, but it won’t be until he takes the ice on North American-sized rinks that we can see how much work he has to do with his defensive game in order to get a shot with the Canucks.
Tommernes is listed on most sites as 6-0 (seems accurate) and 175-185 pounds (I’d wager he’s closer to the latter). He is a left-side, left-shooting defenseman, and he should be expected to play significant minutes for Utica this season. One reason the Canucks felt comfortable moving Kevin Connauton for the ghost of Derek Roy at the trade deadline may in fact be Tommernes – he is much more polished than Connauton is/was, and the two are similar defensemen in many ways.
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Give Jeff a follow on Twitter (@anguscertified).

Other Prospect Profiles in This Series: