2021 NHL Draft: 5 under-the-radar Swedish players to watch
Sweden has been a powerhouse in providing NHL Draft talent, and 2021 will be no different.
And just like most drafts, the talent will be found throughout the rounds. For the prospects on this list, it looks like two could be first-round talents. For the other three, they could be early-round candidates to keep an eye on.
Related: FCHockey’s Top-10 Preliminary Rankings – Sweden
The scouts at FCHockey have already begun watching games in Sweden and prospects are already standing out. Two of them might not exactly be entirely under the radar anymore but the other three might be new names to add to your watchlist.
Here are FCHockey’s five under-the-radar Swedish prospects to watch this season:
Jonathan Myrenberg, D, Linkoping HC
First off, defenseman Jonathan Myrenberg hasn’t exactly exploded like some of the other prospects on this list. But, our scouts think he could. He has an extremely intriguing toolkit and has shown flashes of something great.
Related: 2021 NHL Draft: 5 Swedish players to watch
The six-foot-two, 181-pound player is playing in the J20 Nationell for Linkoping HC J20 this season and is impressing early on. He got a taste in the league last season with seven games, not recording a point. For the remainder of the season, he was with Linkoping HC J18 in the J18 Elite (four goals, seven assists in 15 games) and the J18 Allsvenskan (three goals, nine assists in 14 games).
He also dressed with Team Sweden at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, being held pointless in the tournament. He also played in some U16 international games the year before. In that season, he mainly played in the J18 Elit with the IFK Taby HC J18. As the alternate captain, he played 23 games scoring four goals, eight assists and 12 points.
Myrenberg’s skill is very promising and early on in 2020-21, it seems like he’s putting it all together. He could be an interesting player to keep tabs on this season.
Anton Olsson, D, Malmo
Now we get to someone whose name is starting to gain some traction. Malmo Redhawks’ Anton Olsson has spent time in both the J20 Nationell and the SHL this season and could see more time in the SHL as the season progresses. The two-way defender seems to be getting better and better with each game and has played himself into first-round discussion.
The SHL isn’t new for Olsson though, as he got his first taste in 2019-20, playing five games at the top level. For the rest of the season, he played in the J20 SuperElit for 26 games, collecting six goals, 11 assists, and 17 points. Building on his impressive season, he joined Myrenberg at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, adding two goals and an assist to his stat line in five games.
In 2018-19, Olsson spent his time split evenly between J18 Elit (five goals, three assists), J18 Allsvenskan (three goals, three assists), and the J20 SuperElit (two goals) with nine games in each league.
Olsson looks like he’s in consideration for the first round and if he continues the climb, could hear his name called in the top-20 of this draft.
Oskar Olausson, W, HV71
Right there in the first-round discussion with Olsson is forward Oskar Olausson. The HV71 winger is also similar to Olsson in that he’s getting SHL action this season, on top of excelling in the J20 Nationell. He has done more than enough at this point to earn first-round consideration.
Last season, the offensive forward spent the majority of the season with the J20 SuperElit, playing 21 games and potting seven goals, nine assists, and 16 points. Being at the older end of the class, he also played in the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, scoring once in the five games played. He won a bronze medal with the squad.
He split his time in 2018-19 between the J18 Elit (six goals, five assists in eight games), J18 Allsvenskan (11 goals, three assists in 11 games), and the J20 SuperElit (one goal, three assists in 11 games).
Olausson is oozing offensive talent and has put that on display early on in 2020-21. If it continues, he should cement his status as a first-round talent.
Victor Sjoholm, D, HV71
While Victor Sjoholm may be undersized at five-foot-eight, 163 pounds, he makes up for it in his play. From his balance to his compete, Sjoholm is a player who you want to cheer for and you can’t take your eyes off of.
His small stature hasn’t held him back yet though, already getting SHL action this season. The majority of his time has been spent in the J20 Nationell though, where he spent 32 games last season. In that time, he collected four goals, seven assists, and 11 points. Granted, he also had 105 penalty minutes.
He also played with Myrenberg and Olsson in the World Under-17 Challenge, collecting two assists in five games. In the 2018-19 season, Sjoholm spent time in four leagues at three different age groups, from the U16 Elit to the J20 SuperElit. This while just 15 years old.
Don’t let the defender’s size fool you, Sjoholm knows how to handle himself and can more than hold his own at the top levels. He’s an intriguing early-to-mid-round option at this point in the 2021 NHL Draft.
William Stromgren, LW, MODO
Finally, we come to William Stromgren. The left winger for MODO has been playing mainly in the J20 Nationell, although he’s also seen time in the HockeyAllsvenskan and the J18 Region.
Last season, the winger dressed most of his campaign with the J18 squad in the J18 Elit. He played 22 games, impressing with 17 goals, 20 assists, and 37 points. His 37 points led the North Division. He also looked good in the J20 SuperElit, scoring three times, adding four assists in 10 games.
In 2018-19, Stromgren spent most of his season in the U16 Elit, scoring 25 goals, 12 assists, and 37 points in 22 games. Stromgren may be the least-known prospect on this list but he’s already catching the eye of our scouts. Moving forward, he’ll be an intriguing player to follow.