NHL Draft Prospect Profile #6: Filip Forsberg

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Updated: April 11, 2012

Drafted #11 Overall by the Washington Capitals

Today we look at our first our first European based prospect, Filip Forsberg of Leksands in the Swedish Allsvenskan.  Forsberg is the first of the three Swedish “bergs” we have ranked as first round picks, joining Sebastian Collberg, and Pontus Aberg.

Right Wing/Left Wing
Born Aug 13 1994; Ostervala, Sweden
Height 6.02 — Weight 176 — Shoots R
2010-11 Leksands IF Swe-1 10 1 0 1 0 -1
2011-12 Leksands IF Swe-1 43 8 9 17 33 3

Lets start by clearing up a few misconceptions about Filip.  First he is not related to Swedish NHL Legend and Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Forsberg.  Second he is playing for Leksands in the Swedish Allsvenskan, not the Swedish Elite League.  Some think that the Allsvenskan is like the Swedish version of the AHL, this is not the case.  With the way Sweden’s pro hockey leagues are set up, we need to remember that they are set up like European Football (Soccer) leagues.  The Allsvenskan is basically the equivalent of the Italian Serie “B” to the Elite League’s Serie “A”, or like the Championship League instead of the Barclay’s Premier League.  Forsberg is not stuck in the Allvenskan by any fault of his own, but rather by Leksands’ poor performance prior to him joining the team as they were relegated.  He’s long been committed to Leksands as he came up through the Leksands developmental system.

Forsberg is a versatile forward, capable of playing either wing position.  Some scouts say he’s a power forward in the making, and he certainly tries to play that style of game.  He’s willing to hit opponents, throw his body around, and drive the net.  The problem is that Forsberg is not very physically mature.  He’s very skinny for his height.  As such his power game is not as effective as it could be.  He will definitely need to add some muscle to his frame before he’s ready for the rigors of the NHL.

Forsberg is not all power though, as he is also extremely skilled.  He’s got an excellent shot wigh a very quick and deceptive release that often fools goalies.  He’s also a very talented passer and is able to complete a number of difficult passes, threading the needle through sticks and skates, and making crafty saucer passes at times.  Forsberg is a talented stickhandler and adept at using his body to protect the puck.

Forsberg is a hardworking, willing backchecker.  He’s got good defensive awareness and is effective in all three zones on the ice.  He understands defensive positioning and is a willing shot blocker and is able to effectively cut down passing lanes as well as an opponent’s time and space.

One area we’d like to see Forsberg improve is his patience and decision making.  We often see that he presses at times, and develops a sort of tunnel vision.  He begins to shoot everything at the net, instead of waiting a second to create a better scoring chance with a nice pass or slick move with the puck.  We are also a little concerned by Filip’s lack of high end production in the Allsvenskan.  However one must remember that he’s a 17 year old playing in a men’s league on the third line and with little PP time, so its probably not something to be too concerned about, as we definitely think Forsberg has all the tools to be a scorer in the NHL.  However it does raise some questions about his future ceiling.

With an August 1994 Birthday, Forsberg is one of the youngest players in this draft so he has plenty of time to mature, and develop physically, before he’s ready for the NHL.  We would not be surprised if he spends at least one more year in Sweden before coming to the NHL in time for the 2013-14 season.  We’d compare Forsberg’s maximum potential to become a player similar to Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators.
….And thats the last word.