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 2021 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 “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Anton Olsson Scouting Report.
Defenceman Anton Olsson is the latest in a long line of talented Swedish defence prospects. Playing in the Malmo Redhawks system, he put up just four points playing 39 games in the SHL this season. He also got seven games in the J20 league, experiencing more offensive success. Olsson scored one goal and four points in seven games. He also represented Team Sweden at the IIHF Under-20 World Championships. Olsson put up three assists in seven tournament games. He helped the Swedish Team to a bronze medal. Olsson was also named as one of the top three players on the team by the Swedish coaches.
Olsson bounced around a bit during the 2019-20 season. He played in five SHL games. He also played 26 games in the Swedish J20 league. Olsson put up six goals and 11 assists for 17 points as a 16-year old. In four J18 games, Olsson scored three goals. He also played for Sweden in the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. In five tournament games, he scored two goals and three points. His brother, Albin Olsson is a winger who also came through the Malmo system and is now playing in the Swedish second division.
Anton Olsson Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Left
Born January 26th, 2003 — Helsingborg, Sweden
Height 6’0″ — Weight 183 lbs [183 cm/83 kg]
Olsson’s strong two-way game is based on his strong skating ability. He has a good stride in both directions, giving him very good acceleration and top-end speed. He also has a good first step. Olsson’s edgework and agility are also very good. His lateral movement helps him to stay with his man and maintain good gap control in the defensive end of the ice. It also allows him to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone as well as helping him skate with the puck in transition. Olsson’s pivots are crisp and clean. This allows him to transition quickly from defence to offence and vice-versa. He is also strong on his skates for his age, but this should continue to improve as he adds muscle to his frame. Olsson is able to win battles on the boards and keeps the front of the net clear.
Olsson is good in transition. He can make a strong first pass to get the transition game going. He is also a good stickhandler. Olsson can skate the puck out of the defensive end and lead the rush through the neutral zone. He shows his vision and passing skills in creating chances off the rush. However, he struggles a bit with his creativity when set up in the offensive zone. Olsson lacks a bit of poise and patience at the blue line. He moves the puck quickly whether that be a simple pass to keep possession, a dump into the corner or a shot on the net. He could learn to take his time and look to create a better scoring chance.
Olsson’s wrist shot is decent. He has a quick release and it is accurate. His slap shot is decent but nothing to write home about. However, Olsson is more likely to sneak into the top of the circles to use his wrister than setting up for a slap shot anyway. His skating ability allows him pinch at the blue line and keep plays alive while still having the ability to get back defensively.
Olsson is very strong in his end of the ice. With his good speed and agility, he is tough to beat in one-on-one situations. Olsson maintains good gap control. He keeps attackers to the outside and forces them into bad shooting areas away from the net. He is also good at keeping his man to the outside in the cycle. Olsson uses a quick stick to poke check opponents and cut down passing lanes. He also battles hard along the boards and in front of the net. His speed allows him to get to loose pucks and move them out of the zone. When Olsson collects the puck, he can skate it out of danger or start the transition game with an effective first pass.
Projection and Comparison
If Olsson reaches his ceiling he can be an effective two-way defenceman playing in the top-four for an NHL team. His defensive game is likely to be better than his offensive game. He is unlikely to be used on a first power-play unit, or even the second if his team is using four forwards, but can provide a bit of offence at even-strength. If he develops, his value will be in being able to play big minutes in tough matchups. Olsson will need at least another year or two playing in the SHL or AHL before he is ready to move up to the pro game. His game is reminiscent of Markus Nutivaara but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Anton Olsson that are available on youtube and twitter.
Anton Olsson has game breaking skill and a mentality to match. Elusive, poised and clean; he can't be left out of the convo as one of the best dmen in the #2021NHLDraft. pic.twitter.com/ii1UekpS6G
— Ash Glover (@AshGloverHockey) July 9, 2020
I love Anton Olsson. If this was a goal, he would climb into my TOP 5 no matter what. #2021NHLDraft @Malmo_Redhawks
Powered by @InStatHockey pic.twitter.com/PG3HOs6Iww
— Jakub Hromada (@JakubHromadaCZ) September 24, 2020
#SHL: LHD Anton Olsson (Ranked No. 21) notched the secondary on this slick set-up by C Joe Veleno (DET 1st/2018) to Matt Puempel in Malmo's 6-3 loss to Linkopings. Olsson only played a few shifts thereafter. pic.twitter.com/vbu2eKk57C
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) January 30, 2021
#J20: LHD Anton Olsson (Ranked No. 16) scored this PPG in Malmo's 6-4 win over HV71. HV71 LW Oskar Olausson (Ranked No. 24) with another multi-point game (1g, 1a) and is tied with 2020 draft prospect C Simon Andersson (Ranked No. 193) for the J20 scoring lead#2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/zCL1o15aRQ
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) September 20, 2020
Isak Rosen opens the scoring up at the #U18Worlds with a PP one-timer off of an Anton Olsson pass at 5:00 in the first.
1-0 Sweden. pic.twitter.com/2wPzFGfFnj
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 26, 2021
With 30 seconds left in the second period, Anton Olsson absolutely unleashed a wicked wrist shot to make it 2-1 for Sweden.
The 16-year-old was a dominant two-way player in the U16 Elit league last year and has some experience in the J20 SuperElit this year. #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/8MIitwx78x
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) February 8, 2019
The 2-0 goal came late in the first period when Anton Olsson's point shot off of a Oskar Jellvik feed doubled their lead. The defenceman had two goals in this tournament. #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/MnYwnnHOLh
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) February 10, 2019
Wow, nice coast-to-coast goal by Malmö prospect Anton Olsson.https://t.co/dZPtkylzck#J18 #Malmö #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/pAgJDv9bCY
— Eliteprospects (@eliteprospects) January 13, 2019
Check back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft Article.
Anton Olsson Scouting Report Main Photo:
Anton Olsson, född 2003 är med och tränar. Går i backpar med Helge Grans (-02). pic.twitter.com/9m0uUDDyWM
— Johan Svensson (@MrMadhawk) December 4, 2019