Notebook: Edvinsson, Wallstedt, Johnson & More
Every season, FCHockey’s scouts are scouring the globe to get eyes on prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and beyond.
They spend countless hours watching both live games and game tape to get the best possible analysis on the prospects entering the NHL Draft. Our Unpacking the Notebook series typically looks at prospect reports filed within the last week but with the conclusion of the season has been expanded to feature top NHL Draft prospects.
Here’s a glimpse at our scout’s analysis.
SIMON EDVINSSON, D, FROLUNDA (SUPERELIT)
FROLUNDA J20 – MALMO J20 – OCTOBER 14, 2020
Scouting report by Viktor Bergman
Simon Edvinsson played on the right side on Frolunda’s second pairing against Malmo, he had a decent game but was scoreless. Edvinsson is a big defenseman with decent agility and lateral movement. One thing he really has improved this season is his acceleration, during this whole game it looked like he reaches top speed much faster than he did last season. He also seems to have improved his puck control, it looked really good this game, but he still made two or three mistakes where he lost the puck. This is a skill that looks good, but he can still improve it. Edvinsson has really good vision and he reads the game well, there were plenty of times in this game where he finds openings to either make a pass or receive a pass. In this game he showed great offensive awareness and a great touch, he either sprinted on his first touch and carried the puck up the ice, or sent a accurate tape-to-tape pass to one of his team mates. In his own zone, he showed great defensive awareness a couple of times when he holds his ground and pinched. But he sometimes looks at the puck too much and loose his marking, this resulted in two-on-one situations for the opponent. This is something he need to work on. Of the puck, he showed great vision by shoulder checking in his own zone, this helps him to take in information as the play evolves. Edvinsson understands the game and reads it well, but he needs to improve some areas. But he still plays really good at this level, and at this age, which makes him a really exciting prospect with high potential.
JESPER WALLSTEDT, G, LULEA (SHL)
LULEA 7 – FROLUNDA 3 – JANUARY 9, 2021
Scouting report by Dylan Galloway
Calm, cool and collected, Jesper Wallstedt is excellent positionally and highly poised in the net. As the puck approaches his net he comes out to the top of his crease and does well to stay with the play positionally. His awareness of the play is also something that stands out and is an elite part of his game. Wallstedt’s head is constantly swivelling, looking at the options the puck carrier has and prepares himself to change positions to make the save. Even though he has incredible anticipation he also doesn’t cheat on the play and has incredible timing. His lateral movement is smooth but almost too laid back, at times he seems so comfortable and calm in the net that he almost looks bored when shifting posts. One criticism I have of his play is the depth in which he plays in his net. In this game, he got beat high on a few occasions and it was largely due to him playing fairly deep in his crease. Even when he comes out to challenge a shooter he barely gets past the edge of his crease. He has a pretty good size so he covers the net fairly well but I felt he needed to stand a bit taller in his reverse-VH position in order to cover that top corner as there was a fairly large gap. In addition to his good mental and physical capabilities, Wallstedt was actively coming out of his net to play the puck and rarely made mistakes with the puck on his stick. Once again, he shows, calm poise when under pressure and often makes a good smart pass to a teammate to help aide the breakout. Overall this was a really strong effort by the netminder and I can see him being a really steady #1 for an NHL team for a long time.
KENT JOHNSON, C, MICHIGAN (NCAA)
MICHIGAN 3 – NOTRE DAME 1 – JANUARY 22, 2021
Scouting report by Justin Froese
One of the true play drivers up front in this draft. Kent Johnson gets a lot of hype for the flair in which he plays his brand of hockey but peeling back the layers his game is more than what you would just see on his Youtube playlist. Johnson is already quite advanced in how he sees ice and thinks the game but has so many areas of his game that he has yet to grow, which is very intriguing for a player as skilled as him. His mental agility and ability to formulate a play by setting up his maneuvers through layers of deception is already at a high level and as a result can sink defenders in the sand. He controls hands by moving hands and feet independently of one another and besides some of the ankle breaking tricks he can pull off when he’s at top speed, it’s not all for show. Johnson shows an ability to be deceptive on the attack, elongnate windows intently by taking methodical routes, tracking on angles with his skating and off the puck blending with the play to pop up between checks where he can make a quick play. All plays that are effective now and moving forward to the next level. He does love to carry the puck and move inside the dot line, but he’s got a relatively keen eye for knowing when to make a pass, often in a positive area, and then going to his next destination where he can impact the play. His hands are on his hip and he’s always threatening to make a play but I am a little bit curious as to how his game changes when he gets a little more solid, more powerful with his skating and starts to pressure the house when he doesn’t have to be near as selective with a slight frame. As good as he is on the puck and providing a presence as a support option he’s not nearly appreciated enough when tracking back and not thinking offense. He’s no angel with his tendency to fly the zone at times or simply wade through checks but I am consistently impressed by how active his stick is and how he gauges opponent positioning to show up when it matters, whether it be to steer opponents into a poor spot, pick off a loose puck or provide a quick stick lift to break up a pass completion. He needs to add weight to his frame to play in the tight ice he currently excels in and to give that extra bit of gumption in his back 9 on a consistent basis, but I really appreciate the makeup of Johnson. He’s got the upside of a difference maker and shows that he has the capacity to adapt his style. He will need to be more economical to do so at the NHL level.
MASON MCTAVISH, C, EHC OLTEN (SL)
EHC OLTEN 1 – AJOIE 3 – FEBRUARY 4, 2021
Scouting report by Joseph Aleong
Mason McTavish was able to get into a few games in Switzerland’s second-tier SL before the OHL season gets started again, and while he didn’t produce eye-popping stats, he showed he could handle the pace and physicality of pro hockey. He is a physically mature centre, showing great power and balance in his strides while being tough to knock off the puck under heavy pressure. While he doesn’t have great foot speed or top-end acceleration, he gets to his spots efficiently thanks to his great vision and he doesn’t struggle to keep up with the pace of play at the pro level. He has a knack for weaving through traffic to find open ice in the home plate area, and his lightning-quick release and heavy snapshot make him a goal scoring threat on any broken plays or turnovers near the net. While his patience with the puck and vision allows him to exit the defensive zone under pressure, his lack of high-end speed limits him through the neutral zone and he doesn’t carry the puck in transition that often. This can lead to hurried decisions with the puck and turnovers in the neutral zone. He shows good instincts in the offensive zone, moving the puck quickly and driving play towards the high-danger areas. He’s strong on the puck in board battles, making him effective below the goal line in his own zone as well as creating havoc on the forecheck. He shows good positional awareness on defense, supporting his defenders on the breakout and using an active stick to take away shooting lanes from opponents in the slot area. Overall, a smart and skilled pivot who has consistently been a scoring threat at every stop he’s played, but will need to improve his decision-making in transition and burst in his stride if he wants to be a top-six centre at the professional level.
FABIAN LYSELL, LW, LULEA (SHL)
FROLUNDA J20 7 – KARLSKRONA J20 2 – OCTOBER 28, 2020
Scouting report by Josh Bell
When Fabian Lysell has the puck, watch out. Arguably the most creative player in this class (Kent Johnson might have something to say about that), Lysell has the ability to weave in and out of traffic, slip between the smallest of gaps, and generate chances. He has excellent acceleration and is just so light on his feet, seeming to glide side-to-side. He also utilizes crossovers to gain speed and shift around traffic. He’s always looking for the puck. He’s calling for it, he’s jumping into board battles, granted he didn’t seem to win many of those battles, but he’s always looking for it on his stick. The compete is definitely there. I also appreciate that he does try defensively, always flying back to help defend the rush. However, he does struggle a bit in his own zone. I find that he’s a bit of a “lean-in” defender. He stops moving his feet, almost planting them, reaching with his stick. In doing this, he loses his mobility, his speed, and his balance. When he does get the puck in the defensive zone, he doesn’t have that confidence that he has in the offensive zone. He tends to rush the puck, and try to get the puck off of his stick rather than carry it. I think this will come as he develops and gains confidence in his play. On one play in this game, Lysell was battling for the puck in front of the opponent’s net, drawing an interference penalty. Lysell responded by cross-checking that player and taking a penalty of his own. I’d like to see him more disciplined. He does seem to play with a bit of an edge, getting a little frustrated through the game and throwing his body around more and more. Lysell is an excellent puckhandler and his feet match. He dishes the puck out fairly well, but I’d like to see him use his teammates a little more. I do love his compete as well, as he never gives up on a play. With some refinement in his own end, this is a very promising player. His offensive prowess should see his name called early in the 2021 NHL Draft.
CORSON CEULEMANS, D, BROOKS BANDITS (AJHL)
CALGARY 2 – BROOKS 4 – MARCH 12, 2021
Scouting report by Derek Neumeier
Corson Ceulemans’ name doesn’t come up often when people discuss the defensemen at the top of this draft class, but for my money he’s not that far off the very top group. It’s very, very rare to find right-shot defensemen who are this athletic, talented and versatile. The AJHL is on the older side of things for a junior league, but he’s logging No. 1 defenseman ice time as a 17-year-old and doesn’t look out of place doing it. He plays with a fantastic combination of pace and determination, wheeling up and down the ice and dictating play in all three zones. He’s the type of guy who wants the puck on his stick and has the pure skill to make things happen with it. Very smooth and powerful skater who also possesses a quality pair of mitts that help him excel at both zone exits and entries, which he often does with the same burst of speed. Can explodes from a standstill and through small holes. His conditioning seems phenomenal, as he can play at a high pace and log a lot of minutes without looking tired or showing notable decline. Understands the flow of the play and can match it without the puck, and when he has it he can speed it up or slow it down at his discretion, picking smart times to do so. Has some size and strength, and will use them to his advantage. Puck skill isn’t elite, but it’s pretty good and serviceable, including at full speed. Does a good job of keeping his head up and can make impressive lead passes, though there are a lot of times where he’ll throw pucks away too carelessly, which will be the biggest focus for him to fix moving forward. He’s such a threat from the offensive blue line, able to shake defenders by himself or utilize his teammates, and isn’t afraid to drive deeper as a pass option or take the puck hard to the net himself. He plays a very aggressive, risky game with his puck rushes, pinches and gap control, so turnovers and offensive breaks against are common, but it’s important to note that Brooks plays this way by design and has for a long time, that’s their chosen identity, so these mistakes might be something that an NHL team could rein in through development if they want to. Ceulemans has a ton of raw upside and could easily become one of the very best players from this draft class if his development goes according to plan.
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