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A rising player on many draft boards over the past two months has been Swedish center, David Edstrom. Especially after he had a brilliant showing in the Under-18 World Championships, where he had eight points in seven games. During the season in Sweden, he played most of it in the J20-Nationell, where he put up a point per game. This also led to a few call-ups in the SHL where he played in 11 games and scored four points.
Overall, it’s been a great year offensively for Edstrom who isn’t known for his offensive production. He is known far more for being a big and physical two-way center with strong work rates and skating. The limitations have always been his skill and creativity. Having shown he can produce reasonably during the season might be enough to have his name called during the first round of the 2023 NHL draft.
David Edstrom Scouting Report
Centre — shoots Left
Born February 18th, 2005 — Göteborg, Sweden
Height 6’3″ — Weight 185 lbs [191 cm/84 kg]
Mechanically, David Edstrom has some of the better skating fundamentals in the draft class. He has decent acceleration and keeps his feet moving in all situations. His overall speed is good along with his balance being above average. The balancing gives him an advantage when combined with his size and strength, as he is often using it to protect the puck along the board or apply pressure on the backcheck.
He also is quick to get in on the forecheck and even faster at getting back in his own zone. The only downside is that he needs to get a bit more muscle to fully reach the potential of a 6-foot-3 two-way center. His edges are okay, although nothing to write home about. They are good enough to make him agile enough to move effectively with the puck. However, they also lack a bit of refinement that would give him the ability to become a far more dynamic offensive player. Especially if he is to take the next step and become an effective middle-six center in the NHL.
As mentioned before, the offence isn’t where David Edstrom has his biggest strengths. However, that is not to say that he can’t create chances. His shot, for instance, is extremely underrated as he has a quick release with a decent amount of power. His accuracy is good, and he is smart enough to find open ice to utilize his shots.
Along with his shot, he also is a very tenacious player on both the forecheck and in front of the net, where he wins a lot of battles for the puck. He plays a big game, where he is going to be a major source of problems for defenders. He also is very calm while under pressure where he finds the open man well, adding a decent playmaking element to his game. However, while his playmaking is good, it’s also an area of his game that needs a bit of work overall.
However, his skill and creativity are often what lets him down offensively. He isn’t going to be a player who makes a nifty move past a defender for a highlight-reel goal. He is also not the best at scanning the offensive zone for the best option when he has the time. It’s often a bit of the safer and one-dimensional option that Edstrom will go for when on the puck.
One of the most impressive abilities of David Edstrom’s game has to be his competitive level in the defensive zone. He works harder than most on the backcheck and along the boards he is able to put a stop to many attacks. He battles hard at the boards, and although he needs to add some muscles to his frame, he uses his body well to win the puck or hold up the play to get the rest of the team structured defensively.
Another good area of his defensive game is his work with his stick. He smartly uses his big reach to often get a stick on a forward pass or to steal the puck on the backcheck. His speed also allows him to get back into position with heavy and strong strides, where he will get into position for stick lifts and poke checks.
Lastly, in front of the net he positions himself well to get the loose pucks. He gets himself into a position to take away the opponent’s body or stick to prevent any redirects.
Comparable and Prediction:
In many ways, David Edstrom reminds this writer of Joel Eriksson Ek due to his size, great work ethic in both zones, responsibility defensively, and battles in front of the net. All these are areas where Eriksson Ek excels and has been praised over the past four years in Minnesota. One of the few differences between the two is that Eriksson Ek has a bit more muscle to him, and he also is a bit better at scanning his surroundings offensively. These are areas that Edstrom will have to work on if he is to fulfill his potential as an effective middle-six forward in the NHL.
Main Photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports