Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Marcus Davidsson.
Marcus Davidsson has been playing limited minutes for Djugardens IF in the SHL, Sweden’s top men’s league this season. He has five goals and four assists for nine points in 45 games. While those are not huge numbers, the fact that he is holding his own as a 17-year-old in a top tier mens league is impress. He has also played nine games in the J20 league, putting up six goals and four assists.
It has been on the international stage though, that Davidsson has really shone. In 2014-15 he took home a bronze medal from the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge. In 2015-16 he won a silver medal at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament as well as another silver medal at the IIHF Under 18 World Hockey Championships.
Marcus Davidsson Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #33
Center/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born November 18th 1998 — Tyresö, Sweden
Height 6’0 — Weight 192 lbs [180 cm/78 kg]
Davidsson is more quick than fast. He has good speed, but a great first step and excellent acceleration means that he reaches that top end speed extremely quickly, and is very effective in short races to loose pucks. He moves quickly through turns, and accelerates with excellent crossovers. His agility and edge work are top notch and make him able to move quickly laterally both when attacking and in protecting his own zone. Davidsson has a strong lower body, and has good balance. He uses this well in fighting for position in front of the net, as well as fighting through checks, hooks and holds. He is also good in winning battles along the boards and establishing position in front of the net.
An excellent two-way centre, Davidsson does all the little things well. He gets in quickly on the fore check and pressures defencemen into making turnovers. Once a turnover happens he can hit a teammate with a quick pass, drive the puck to the front of the net, or fire an excellent wrist shot on goal. He has the soft hands to score goals on those net drives, as well as to pounce on rebounds and get deflections. His shot is accurate but could stand to be a bit more powerful. His wrist shot and snap shots also feature a quick release.
He is relentless in chasing down pucks in all three zones, and has the skating to be able to get to loose pucks quickly. Davidsson also has the vision and smarts to be an effective play maker. He anticipates plays well and can make passes through tight spaces. His stick handling is effective in puck protection on the cycle game. Davidsson is a straight ahead player though. He isn’t overly creative with the puck, but he does enough good things well that it is very effective.
Defensively, Davidsson is already good in the face-off circle. He shows a highly advanced ability to pressure puck carriers, and to play a smart positional game in his own end. He uses his stick effectively in cutting down on passing and shooting lanes. Once he creates a turnover, he is quick to transition the puck up to offence. Davidsson plays a smart game and kills penalties for the Swedish junior teams.
Projection and Comparison
Davidsson projects into more of a second liner, who plays against other teams top lines, than a true top line talent himself. Internationally, and at the junior levels he has played at centre, but in the SHL is usually on the left wing. In terms of playing style, he plays the game similar to Alex Steen of the St. Louis Blues. This is a style comparison only though, and not one based on skill.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.