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Smooth-Skating Broberg Thrives on Biggest Stages

Swedish defenseman played pro hockey in 2019-20 with AIK

by Dylan Wheeler / is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22. Defenseman Philip Broberg is the No. 5-ranked International skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the fourth and 16th overall selections in the first round of the draft.

Philip Broberg has shined on the international stage for his home country of Sweden.

NHL Central Scouting's fifth-ranked International skater is one of the top prospects for the 2019 draft after a strong campaign that began in August at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder led all defenseman in goals and finished the early-season tournament with four points (three goals, one assist) to help Sweden earn the silver medal.

"He solidified himself as being one of the top prospects available (in 2019)," said director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr following the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. "He'll definitely be in the conversation as far as the first few picks go."

Broberg stood out again in April at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship where he finished second in scoring among defensemen with six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games. One of his assists came on the tying goal in the third period of the Gold Medal Game, which Sweden won by defeating Russia in overtime.

The left-shooting blueliner was the only Swede to be named to the tournament's all-star team and was also honored as the best defenseman of the under-18 Worlds.  

"When he jumps on the ice he can beat the forwards, beat them 1-on-1, and open up the ice for my forwards, so that's a good skill," said Sweden's head coach Magnus Havelid to "He can shoot well from the blue line. He's definitely heading in the right direction, but he's still a young guy and still has to learn a lot. As a coach, when you see him on the ice it's cool to see how much he has developed."

The Orebro, Sweden, native played his youth hockey in his hometown and started the 2017-18 campaign with its junior club in the under-20 SuperElit league. Despite being 16 years old at the time, he decided to make the switch from the Orebro organization to AIK's just 15 games into the SuperElit season.

"It didn't work out as planned with my last team so I changed teams and I went with AIK, and it has worked really well," Broberg told "My confidence is good and they believe in me, so it's better. I like it."

He concluded the season with 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 23 games with AIK's junior squad.

The 17-year-old played most of his 2018-19 campaign for AIK's pro team in the Allsvenskan league--Sweden's second-tier pro division--and he finished the year with nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 41 games.

His points were the most by a player under the age of 18 in the league, becoming only the third defenseman to claim that notoriety. The others were Oliver Kylington (2014-15) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2008-09).

Broberg also played in a higher age group earlier in the yeaar, participating in the 2019 World Junior Championship for Team Sweden. He notched one assist in four games during the under-20 tournament in Canada in December and January.

"He's an excellent skater for his size, with many different gears allowing him to control and set the tempo of the play with his skating, puck-moving game," Marr said. "He's a highly competitive prospect who is smart, composed and quick in making plays, and also responsible, playing big minutes in all situations. Another high-end Swedish defenseman that is a complete NHL prospect package."

Broberg is the second-highest-rated Swede entering the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver, behind only fellow defenseman Victor Soderstrom, the No. 3-ranked International skater.

"He's very strong," said director of NHL European Scouting Goran Stubb of Broberg. "An excellent skater, he's flying on the ice."

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