David Rundblad, 17, is a late 1990 birth, standing 6’2”, 183 lbs. Quickly surpassing the J18 level, he has spent the majority of the last two seasons playing for Skelleftea in the J20 SuperElit. The right-handed blueliner possesses unique offensive instincts, as evidenced by the 11 goals and 15 assists he has amassed in 35 J20 games this year, good enough to lead the lead in goals and points by a defenseman. The highest compliment to his play is his call-up to the Elitserien team for 6 games, an extremely rare feat for such a young player.
Tim Erixon, 17, comes in at 6’1”, 181 lbs. The left-handed defenseman is a second-generation PuckAgency client; his father, Jan, is a former NHLer and was represented by the company during his playing career. Like Rundblad, Erixon has been playing at the J20 SuperElit level for the greater portion of two seasons. Erixon is known as slightly more of a defensive-minded player, but still shows plenty of offensive upside. Holding the distinction of having played two games in the Elitserien as well, he has put up 2 goals and 12 assists in 29 J20 games this year.
Rundblad and Erixon are rated #8 and #9, respectively, in the early 2009 NHL Draft prospect rankings published by the Red Line Report. Complementing them in the stable of Swedish PuckAgency clients are the highly-rated 2008 NHL Draft-eligible centers Martin Lundberg and Johan Erkgards.
Martin Lundberg, 17, is a 6’0”, 190 lbs. left-handed center, who can also play on the wing. He is an intelligent playmaker who can skate well and take care of his responsibilities in all zones. Also a product of the Skelleftea system, Lundberg has spent the bulk of his last two seasons in the J20 SuperElit. There, he amassed 5 goals and 13 assists in the 07-08 season, along with 1 assist over the 11 games he spent on the Elitserien roster.
Johan Erkgards, 18, was born late in 1989 and measures in at 6’0”, 176 lbs. Erkgards developed in the well-known Farjestad organization. He played parts of three seasons for them in the J18 Allsvenskan, winning a championship in 05-06 and leading the league in assists in 06-07. Most of this season was spent with Skare in Swedish Division 1, where he finished with 30 points, 14 of which were goals. Erkgards is known for his hockey sense and work ethic on the ice. His scoring and playmaking talents are accompanied by an impressive record as a penalty killer and team leader.
All four of these outstanding young men have featured internationally for Sweden at various junior levels. Rundblad, Erixon, and Lundberg hold the honor of winning an international competition for Sweden. They accomplished this together at the 2007-08 Ivan Hlinka Memorial U18 World Cup tournament. The continued development of players like these will ensure that Sweden’s resurgence in the junior international scene is not short-lived. As they continue to achieve success for both club and country, these are four names to look out for at the 2008 and 2009 Drafts and beyond.