Djurgarden has developed countless quality NHLers to come over from the Sweden -- including current Sens centre Mika Zibanejad -- and it appears that the next top forward to come from the program will be Alexander Wennberg.
Wennberg -- who has been transferred to Erik Karlsson’s Frolunda of the SEL for the 2013-14 season -- put together a solid season for Djurgarden in 2012-13. In 46 games for the Allsvenskan side, he scored 14 goals and added 18 assists for 32 points. What’s more, he lead the team with four game winning goals. He also played for a young Swedish team at the World Juniors where he captured a silver medal and recorded three points in six games.
The key to Wennberg’s game is his immense offensive skillset, though he is useful in every phase of play. He is a very quick player who is tricky for defenders to get a read on and, in turn, can create space for himself and his teammates with good puck handling and creativity. He is a very consistent player who puts forth the same effort in all three zones and contributes accordingly at even strength and special teams. He is a very well rounded player.
The only shortcoming of note for Wennberg is his strength and overall physical makeup. He’s not a small player by any stretch at 6-foot-2, 183 pounds, but he will need to put on additional weight and increase his strength as he progresses to face tougher competition in Sweden’s top flight and, eventually, transitions to the North American style of play. A smaller ice surface will necessitate greater physical strength to maintain his style of play.
The good news is as Wennberg continues to develop physically, his ceiling should rise accordingly. He is a very skilled player who plays well in all situations and locations on the ice, and can be adapted to fit various schemes and lineups accordingly. It would be tough to find a team that couldn’t find a place for him in their system or roster.
Expect Wennberg to go in the middle of round one.
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