Prospect Ramblings: European Performers

Dave Hall

2021-03-16

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Prospect Ramblings.

Before I get started, I must remind you to grab Dobber’s Midseason Fantasy Hockey Guide. It’s full of mid-season updates, prospect predictions, and second-half projections. Click here to purchase.

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Since the NHL is alive and well, It’s been quite some time since I chatted about prospects from across the pond. This is a total shame, as there are some very impressive seasons being had across all of the European leagues. As you can guess, that all changes today.

The majority of leagues in Europe are in the late stages of their regular seasons, while some have recently wrapped them up. With that in mind, I will take this opportunity to highlight a few of those league’s top-performing prospects. Some of which took the title as a top producer, while others were mere prospects that I personally took a liking to, and believe that they have what it takes to jump past their previous upside.

Alas, here is a list with one or two prospects from each of the top European leagues.

SHL

The Red Wings own a ton of real estate in the SHL right now, with a total of seven prospects taking reps within the league. Most of them have all enjoyed strong seasons, however, non more impressive (in my personal opinion) than Jonatan Berggren.

While 2020-21 was technically Berggren’s third campaign in the SHL, injuries have kept his game log quite limited. That is until this season. Now healthy, the 2018 Red Wing draftee enjoyed a healthy and certainly expected boost in his statistical output. His 41 points (in 46 games) has not only dominated the U21 circuit, besting Nils Lundqvist (who impressively sat second among this age class, as a defender) by 12 points but sits in a tie for sixth, league-wide.

Here is a teaser of what kid can do:

The 20-year-old is your prototypical point-getter with a slightly undersized build, shifty and swift skating abilities, and of course, tremendous hands. He is poised to assist the Wings’ long-term top-six outlook, and with the exception of Lucas Raymond, is undoubetly the club’s most anticipated European skater (not include Moritz Sieder, who has completed a full season in North America).

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I just can’t leave the SHL without highlighting my favorite defender prospect, Nils Lundqvist. The Rangers boast a list of very capable, and extremely talented puck mover on the backend, but Nils certainly gives this list a run for its money. The hope was that he would ink a deal last spring, and make his debut within the organization – whether it be in New York or Hartford – during the 2020-21 campaign. However, with Covid takings its toll on most North American leagues, he decided to stay put. What a decision it was. He is currently filling the scoresheet at a wonderous rate, sitting ninth league-wide in scoring among defenders, while leading that same list in powerplay tallies, with seven.

His thirst for offense is fierce, and he steadily searches for opportunities at all times. He has tremendous hands, even better puck distribution skills, and can deliver the boom with both velocity and pin-point accuracy from afar. He has 142 shots-on-goal, so, Rangers fans, expect a lot of this: