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Baker's Top 31: #31 Marcus Davidsson

Kris Baker counts down the top 2017 NHL Draft prospects

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects /

Kris Baker is once again counting down his list of top prospects available in the NHL Draft for The first round of the 2017 NHL Draft will take place on June 23 in Chicago. 

Position: Center 

Team: Djurgardens (SHL)

Marcus Davidsson is a gritty two-way worker who has the look of an opportunistic middle-line pivot when ready to graduate to the North American ranks. When on his game, Davidsson brings loads of speed and energy while causing chaos in front of the opposing goal.

Davidsson parlayed a nice showing last August at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp into a solid year with Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He played 45 games with DIF's top club, scoring five goals and nine points while averaging 11:12 of time on ice. He also received work with DIF's J20 team, scoring six goals and 10 points in nine games.

As far as NHL upside is concerned, Davidsson is expected to be one who will thrive in a tight checking scheme with an ability to frustrate the opposing team's skill players, kill penalties and muck his way to modest share of points.

Like so many Swedish forwards before him, Davidsson is focused on the details away from the puck. He likes to buzz all over the ice, applying pressure with a desire to hit and battle in the trenches. He must continue to work on his offensive skills, but no one questions Davidsson's ability to play with an edge.

While the points haven't come at a high rate over the course of his professional game experience to date, and while he was unable to crack Sweden's roster for the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, all signs point to Davidsson being a responsible low-risk pick who will agitate and create with equal aptitude.

Davidsson has one year left on his current deal, but is best suited to see full-time SHL duty over the next two seasons to work on his consistency so he can arrive in North America with a mature, polished game. 

For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker's website, You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).

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