Archive for the ‘2012 Draft Profiles’ Category

The man with two names, Erik Sebastian Collberg, checks in at number 14 in our draft profiles. Collberg has limited experience when it comes to team play in Sweden but has excelled at the International level like few that we’ve seen so far. The 2011-2012 season saw Collberg play his first full year in the Swedish Elitserein league for Frolunda at both the Elitserein and U20 levels. At the Elitserein level, Collberg saw limited ice-time which reflected in his stats, scoring no points with only 2 penalty minutes and finishing the year with a minus-8 rating. He saw some more success at the junior level, scoring 17 points in 21 games to go along with 18 penalty minutes.

Collberg really came into his own at the 2012 World Junior Championships where he was a key member of the gold medal winning Swedish squad. In six games at the tournament, Collberg put up four goals and three assists, good for second on the team in scoring. He also put up 9 points in six games at the U18 World Championships for a Swedish team that was defeated in the final by the United States.

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Credit: Jeff McIntosh

My personal favorite name in the draft, Zemgus Girgensons, checks in at number 16 in our Draft profiles. Girgensons has made a bit of a name for himself in the USHL and it’s not hard to see why as the young Latvian put up 19 goals and 25 assists in 43 games along with a plus/minus rating of plus-17 and 57 penalty minutes. Girgensons’ numbers were good for third in the Eastern Conference of the USHL and also put up 4 points in just under two games in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Girgensons suffered a broken jaw in Dubuque’s second playoff game of the year, ending his season. This was preceded by a 49 point season in 51 games in the USHL, quite the impressive scoring tip.

Zemgus added to his fantastic year by being an assistant captain on the Latvian World Junior team. In six games for Latvia, Girgensons scored two goals along with a minus-6 rating and 6 penalty minutes.

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The poke me and die picture returns!
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Credit: OHL Images

Whether going by Matthew or Matt, there’s no denying that the young Finn (but not Fin) is probably going to be a pretty good hockey player. Last year, in just his second OHL season, Finn was the leading scoring amongst defensemen for his Guelph Storm squad potting 47 points in 61 games along with a minus-13 rating and 58 penalty minutes.

Finn also has some international experience, playing for Canada’s gold medal winning U17 team in 2011, scoring one goal and adding 4 penalty minutes. However, Finn’s junior career has not been without its disappointments as he failed to make the Canadian squad for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

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In another classic case of young defenseman with consistency issues, Ludvig Bystrom will be on first round draft radars after a strong body of work in the Swedish junior ranks before making the leap to the S.E.L. with Modo’s senior squad.
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And now things start to get interesting as we enter the top 20 in our Draft profiles. And they get interesting with Olli Maatta. Maatta spent his 2011-2012 with the London Knights, his first season playing in North America, and did not disappoint in limited playing time due to injury. In 58 games for the Knights, Maatta put up 32 points and a somewhat ridiculous plus-25 rating to go along with 25 penalty minutes. Unfortunately, Maatta’s season was shortened due to a concussion he suffered in the first game of the World Junior Championships in which he played for Finland.

Maatta was also a member of the 2011 U20 and U18 World Junior teams for Finland. In the U20 tournament, Maatta registered no points in the six games he played but was noted for his defensive ability. In the U18 tournament, Maata had 4 points in 6 games and was named one of the top 3 players for Finland in the tournament. He made his way to the CHL when he was selected first overall in the 2011 Import Draft by London.

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There are a handful of promising goaltending prospects in this year’s draft and the highest on our list of players is Andrei Vasilevski, the starting goaltender for Russia at the 2011-12 World Juniors. While he was there he posted a ‘ho-hum’ .953 save percentage even after a late run of goals by Canada in their round robin match.
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