Elias Salomonsson Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft #31

Elias Salomonsson Scouting Report
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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 2022 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 bring you our Elias Salomonsson Scouting Report. 

Salomonsson has long been seen as one of the top Swedish prospects for the 2022 NHL Draft. Once seen as a potential top-10 pick, Salomonsson has slipped a bit in the final rankings. His draft season started at the Hlinka Gretzky where he put up just one assist in five games. Salomonsson helped the Swedish team to a Bronze medal. Playing in the Skelleftea system, Salomonsson spent most of the year in the Under-20 league. He was the top goal scorer amongst defencemen in both the North League (8 goals), and the overall League (11 goals). Overall he had 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 35 games. He also put up one assist in two playoff games.

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Salomonsson also got a call-up to the SHL. Playing in Sweden’s top men’s league, the 17-year-old had limited minutes in his 10-game stint. Salomonsson also played for Sweden at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He picked up one assist in five tournament games and helped Sweden to a gold medal. Salomonsson picked up a one-game suspension for hitting from behind in the quarterfinals and missed Sweden’s semi-final game. He is one of the youngest players in this draft.

Elias Salomonsson Scouting Report

Right Defence — shoots Right
Born August 31st, 2004 — Skellefteå, Sweden
Height 6’1″– Weight 183 lbs [186 cm / 83 kg]

Skating

Salomonsson is an excellent skater. His pivots, edgework, and lateral mobility allow him to cover a ton of ice in both the offensive and defensive end. He can walk the line in the offensive end, helping him to create passing and shooting lanes. Salomonsson’s lateral agility also makes him tough to beat on the rush. He has crisp pivots as well. This allows him to transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. He also has a powerful stride. Salomonsson has a good first step and excellent acceleration in both directions. His top end-speed is also very good. Salomonsson is strong on his skates for a teenager. This is an area that should improve as he matures. With more muscle on his frame, Salomonsson will be better at winning battles on the boards and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Salomonsson moves the puck effectively. He has excellent vision and passing skills, starting the transition game from his own end as well as quarterbacking the play in the offensive zone. He can make a tape-to-tape pass over a long distance when a forward gets behind the defence. His stickhandling is also strong. He marries this with his strong skating to carry the puck through the neutral zone and generate effective zone entries. However, there are some questions about Salomonsson’s decision-making. There are times he can skate himself into an area where he is trapped by multiple defenders and out of passing options. He also can try a bit too hard to make a play at times, leading to turnovers.

Salomonsson is very effective on the power play with his passing skills. His slap shot is also powerful. Salomonsson does a good job of getting it on the net. He keeps it low to give his teammates the chance for tip-ins and rebounds. He also does a good job with one-timers. Even if the pass is a little off, he can adjust his hands and feet to still get a powerful shot off. He also has a good wrist shot. It is accurate, powerful and features a quick release. Salomonson’s lateral agility allows him to walk the line and create passing and shooting lanes.

Defensive Game

Salomonsson’s defensive game has come into question this year. His strong skating and good size help him to defend his end of the rink, stepping up at the line and preventing zone entries. He also shows good gap control and is tough to beat in one-on-one situations, especially on the rush.

It is when the opposing team has possession of the puck in his end of the ice that the problems start. He can become a bit too focused on the puck at times, losing his man as he looks to make a play on the puck carrier. This over-aggressiveness leads to missed coverages and his man getting open for scoring chances. He also tries to do a bit too much with the puck. Instead of making a safe play and getting the puck out of the zone, Salomonsson can be prone to turnovers in his end.

Projection and Comparison

Salomonsson’s draft season may not have been what he hoped for. His defensive game was exposed at times and this has led to his fall in draft position. However, Salomonsson still has all the tools to be a top-four defender in the NHL. He is a bit of a high-risk, high-reward pick as his offensive game, size and skating all project well at the next level. Luckily, defence is the most teachable aspect of the game and the skills Salomonsson possesses are not as easily learned. He should stay in Sweden for a year or two and then have some AHL time. If he is able to work with good coaches and a strong development team, he could really blossom. Salomonsson’s game is reminiscent of Jake Gardiner but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Elias Salomonsson that are available on youtube and Twitter.

 

Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.

 

Elias Salomonsson Scouting Report Main Photo: