The Anaheim Ducks have a history of drafting Swedish players and them becoming key parts of the team, is Nils Hoglander the next to follow that pattern?
The Anaheim Ducks hold two picks in the first round of the upcoming 2019 NHL Entry Draft. We’ve discussed the potential selections with the 9th overall pick ad-nauseam so let’s continue to discuss some potential picks with the latter of the Ducks first round picks.
The Ducks have been dubbed “Swedenheim” for quite some time, seemingly every season using their draft picks on a Swede who appears to be a bit off the board, but turns into gold. As we’ve said before, there are quite a few forwards projected to go in the 2nd half of the first round, let’s talk about another one.
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Nils Hoglander- Left/Right Winger- From Bockträsk, Sweden- Current Team: Rogle J20 (SHL)
Nils Hoglander is a smaller frame forward who can play the left or right wing. Hailing from a small town in Sweden, Hogslander has been playing in a men’s league for the past two seasons, moving to the top league in Sweden this season. A left-handed shot, standing about 5’9 and 185lbs, Hoglander appears to be the type of player that Bob Murray continually targets. He plays a bigger game than his frame would suggest, consistently playing at a feverish pace and not afraid to track pucks down in the greasy areas.
Hogslander is a smooth skater with great speed, able to reach that top speed in a hurry and maintain it through sharp movements and in tight areas. His best asset might be his puck-handling ability where he navigates crowded areas with the puck with ease. The young forward’s puck handling allows him to open space to make accurate passes through traffic, and even when being pressured by defenders can manage to make things happen, be it a pass or a shot.
The Swede has an above-average shot, hard, with a quick release, but isn’t something that will make goaltenders nervous. A hard-working player who isn’t a liability in the defensive end, Hogslander would make sense as a Murray late first round pick.
Comparison: Brendan Gallagher (Hard to find a direct comparison to Hoglander, but I see the intangibles of Gallagher)
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