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Defenceman Philip Broberg's stock is increasing ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - Much like his stretched scale, Swedish defenceman and 2019 NHL Draft hopeful Philip Broberg's stock continues to rise.

For good reason.

The 17-year-old prospective first-round selection isn't short on tools, which include his 6-foot-3, 191-pound frame as well as the ability to grace the ice with exceptional skating.

Video: COMBINE | Philip Broberg

Those who witnessed Sweden play at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup in Edmonton became accustomed to viewing Broberg's mobility. The defenceman was a relief valve on the breakout - able to zip outlet passes or drop his head to wheel up ice - and zone entry artisan, capable of maneuvering past blueliners through the neutral zone with long strides and high top speed.

Broberg concluded the tournament with three goals and four points in five games then played his 2018-19 season in Sweden where after eight outings and eight points with AIK's SuperElit squad he supplanted the junior program to test his stature against the men that compete in Allsvenskan.

The Orebro, Sweden, product showed that the elevated competition wasn't exactly a tall order, suiting up in 41 matches with AIK and scoring two goals and nine points.

In short, the prospective NHL rearguard has the potential to be a top-two, two-way defenceman and if he fills out like his on-ice influence, Tampa Bay Lightning behemoth Victor Hedman, one NHL club could end up feeling on top of the world.

That team could be the Edmonton Oilers, who possess the eighth-overall selection at the Draft.

"If I'm looking at No. 8, there's a wide variety of guys," Sportsnet junior hockey broadcaster Sam Cosentino told at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine. 

"That could be anyone from Philip Broberg to Dylan Cozens to Kirby Dach. Maybe Trevor Zegras is a guy who's available there. Matthew Boldy as well and Cole Caufield - it's hard to ignore that goal scoring. But that's the group that I'm talking about - that is really, I think, on a lot of team's lists - very interchangeable.

"I would suspect one of those guys would be available to Edmonton at No. 8."

Video: COMBINE | Recap with Sam Cosentino

Armed with a 78.25-inch wingspan, Broberg's defensive foundation is his skating and anthropometry. The defender can intercept passes with his long stick, win puck races with his quick feet and be the catalyst for offence with his drive to turn up ice.

There are, however, areas under construction that Broberg is still building.

"I think it's my physical game and to get a little bit stronger in the corners and in front of the net," Broberg, who turns 18 on June 25, said. "But I still want to improve my first passes as well."

There's a sense that the 2019 NHL Draft class is replete with high-end centres and that many of them will be outfitting new threads by the time pick No. 10 rolls around. 

But players like Broberg are making a case for the defencemen.

"It's really interesting because you go back to last year and a record 14 D were taken (in the first round)," said Cosentino. "Now I'm looking at this year, I'm at about the midway mark and I'm saying, 'You know what, there are defencemen here that I think are pretty good.' 

"I'm looking at a class of probably seven or eight guys that I think are top-notch defencemen when three or four months ago if you had asked me that, I would have said this is a much more centre-focused Draft, which I still believe it is, but we've seen a great emergence of the defencemen in the second half."

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