Graham Sward is a defenseman who was entrusted with big responsibilities on a weaker team this year and really made the most of the opportunity. He plays a very simplistic and reliable defensive game. His positional awareness is spot-on in his own end. He utilizes his stick well to disrupt sequences and he’s got quick…
|Feb 14/22||Sward Graham||23430 – Kelowna vs. Spokane||WHL||by Derek Neumeier||View Report|
|Apr 13/21||Sward Graham||21937 – Seattle vs. Spokane||WHL||by Donesh Mazloum||View Report|
|Apr 8/21||Sward Graham||21908 – Seattle vs. Spokane||WHL||by Justin Froese||View Report|
|Nov 24/20||Sward Graham||21372 – Spokane vs. Edmonton||WHL||by Justin Froese||View Report|
Graham Sward is a defenseman who was entrusted with big responsibilities on a weaker team this year and really made the most of the opportunity. He plays a very simplistic and reliable defensive game. His positional awareness is spot-on in his own end. He utilizes his stick well to disrupt sequences and he’s got quick enough and smooth enough feet to mirror opponents, keeping a tight gap and angling them to low-danger areas. He’s decently hard to play against, but if he added some more physicality to his game it would make him an even better defender. The offensive side of his game is coming along in terms of both consistency and effectiveness, but could still use a lot more seasoning. His shot is a strength, good enough to beat goalies clean from distance and just controlled enough to make it good for deflections. He makes safe, correct decisions when he does have the puck, but it would be nice to see him try to hold onto it for a split second longer in some situations and create a better option. The problem is he doesn’t quite have the puck skills to be confident in holding onto it for too long without mishandling it. There’s an element of panic when he’s holding on too long, which can force him into mistakes. His breakout passes are usually pretty clean, however, and if there’s no easy option he’ll often resort to off the glass and out. His skills on the offensive blue line are limited to holding the puck in and usually dumping it back into the zone. He was passed over in last year’s draft, but how much he grew this season while playing a large role under difficult circumstances will certainly draw the attention of teams. He projects as a defensive defender who could slot into the bottom pair for a team.