In the 2009 draft, seven elite players were taken from Sweden in the opening round: Victor Hedman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, David Rundblad, Jacob Josefson, Tim Erixon and Marcus Johansson.
But in 2010, the Swedes were shutout of the opening round. Not that it’s a cause for concern: On Day 2 six players were plucked from Sweden in Round 2 and they bring immense talent to the table that shouldn’t be underestimated.
“People probably figured with the success of the Swedes last year it might be the same thing this year, but I think last year might have been almost a freak of nature with the guys they had – the high, high talent guys – and that’s not taking away from any of the kids who are there this year,” said Todd Woodcroft, a European scout for the Los Angeles Kings based in Sweden.
The second round Swedes have all the potential to make the NHL and each bring their own distinct skillset to the mix:
Oscar Lindberg, C, Phoenix (57th overall): Seventh-ranked European skater by Central Scouting, the versatile Lindberg got a taste of the Elitserien in 2009-10 and should spend all of next season there.
Woodcroft: “A really sharp player. Very good on both sides of the puck. Brought good energy to that team in the elite league. Strong guy, strong character.”