LOWDOWN: Listing Detroit's infallible Nicklas Lidstrom as his favourite player, Larsson has modeled his game after his idol. He's a puck-moving defenceman who brings unbelievable composure to the ice. He never seems to panic and rarely makes a bad play. Not only does he bring an incredible skill set, Larsson also has the frame to play a highly physical game. Listed at 6'3 and 200 lbs, he's physically ready to make the jump to the NHL.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Adam is one of the best skaters in this year's draft -- he has excellent speed and mobility. He also has patient puck handling abilities and can surprise an opponent with a solid hit. His size and skating ability make him comparable with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman." - NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards to NHL.com
Mika Zibanejad, C, Djurgarden (SWE)
Born: April 18, 1993
Born In: Stockholm, SWE
GP: 26 G: 5 A: 4 P:9 PIM: 2
LOWDOWN: Splitting the 2010-11 season between Djurgarden's junior team and the Swedish Elite League, Zibanejad has established himself as a power forward who can play among men right now. He potted 12 goals and 21 points with his junior club through 27 games before setting in with Djurgarden. Zibanejad's skating has improved tenfold over the past season and that has helped him climb up the ladder on the European rankings.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Mika's a real power forward but also has soft hands, good vision and fine skating skills. He has tremendous balance and is hard to knock off the puck. He's very strong in the battles along the boards, finishes checks with authority and has a heavy shot that he gets off quickly. Mika's a competitive player who is willing to pay the price to score a goal. He does have a very good understanding of his defensive duties." - NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb to NHL.com
Jonas Brodin, D, Farjestad (SWE)
Born: July 12, 1993
Born In: Karlstad, SWE
GP: 42 G: 0 A: 4 P: 4 PIM: 12
LOWDOWN: Brodin is another highly skilled, puck-moving rearguard from the Swedish Elite League. Unlike Larsson, Brodin is lanky (listed at 6'0 and 169 lbs) but that doesn't stop him from going into the tough areas. He's got excellent vision and is able to get himself in the perfect position to defuse an opponent's attack strategy. His east-west lateral movement is paramount.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Looks tiny around net and corners, but never shies from contact and his fine positioning and timing allow him to handle the added physicality. Smart and makes heady plays with the puck, finding breaking wingers on the tape." - Swedish scout Par Larsson of the Red Line Report to the Bruins 2011 Draft Watch
Joel Armia, RW, Assat (FIN)
Born: May 31, 1993
Born In: Pori, FIN
GP: 48 G: 18 A: 11 P: 29 PIM: 24
LOWDOWN: The 2011 World Juniors was supposed to be Armia's time to shine but unfortunately for the winger, it didn't work out that way. Mired in a scoring drought, he had just one assist in the tournament. While that may have pushed him back on many scout's lists, Armia possesses an excellent skill set that will one day allow him to be a sniper in the NHL. His frame has not developed yet and since he has one more year left on his contract with Assat, he has time to add more muscle onto his frame before trying to crack an NHL roster.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "He's big and tall but surprisingly mobile for a player of his size. He's a sniper with a good selection of shots. You might have to look for him during some shifts, but then, suddenly, he scores the winner." - NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb to NHL.com
Dmitrij Jaskin, RW, Slavia (CZREP)
Born: March 23, 1993
Born In: Czech Republic
GP: 33 G: 3 A: 7 P: 10 PIM: 16
LOWDOWN: Jaskin has good offensive instincts, is incredibly difficult to knock off the puck and has a work ethic any NHL GM would love. That being said, Jaskin's skating abililty isn't where scouts would like to see it at and if not improved upon, may hinder him in his quest for an NHL career. If he is able to improve in this area, he could turn out to be a versatile power forward.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "An entirely unorthodox Czech player in that he's physically dominant and imposing below the circles and does his best work in heavy traffic. Conversely, unlike most recent Czechs to hit the NHL, skating is his one problem as he lacks foot speed and first step quickness." - Red Line Report Czech/Slovak scout Radim Jelinek to the Bruins 2011 Draft Watch