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  • Prospect Tuesdays: Who is Johan Larsson?


    You know, the guy drafted 56th overall in the second round during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The guy drafted after Brett Bulmer.

    Thought we would start with a two quick scouting report from Kirk Luedeke, now a part of Red Line Report, and from Ryan Kennedy from The Hockey News.

    Kirk Luedeke

    Ryan Kennedy

    This was two drafts ago, and since then, Larsson has not done anything to hurt himself. If anything, he has begun to establish himself as one of the top prospects currently playing in Sweden.

    If there was a cliche term to describe Johan Larsson as a hockey player, it would be "jack of all trades". He is known for his defensive game and intangibles; his ability to be consistent and responsible. As a result, his offense has always been questioned. But since being drafted by the Wild, he has been showing flashes of offensive ability.

    He has found a regular spot on his professional team, Brynas, in the Swedish Elite League. This season, he plays an average of 16:30 minutes per game, good for 5th amongst team forwards.

    His 10 points in 14 games have already beaten his last season's totals of 8 points in 43 games.

    He also continued to show his offensive side when Sweden played against Finland and Team USA during the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. He led all players with 4 goals and 10 assists in only 5 games.

    Larsson is no alien to international play. During the 2010/11 World Junior Championships, he was voted a top 3 player for Sweden, with 1 goal and 3 assists in 6 games. What was most impressive was his faceoff ability, winning a ridiculous 70.59% of his faceoffs.

    And let's not forget his ability to take lead of a team. He was the captain for Sweden U-18 during his draft year, and will be looking for be either THE captain or one of the assistant captains for this years U-20 Swedish team.

    I'm running out of breath...

    Ryan Kennedy

    So the Wild drafted a player that has tons of similarities to Sammy Pahlsson, one of the leagues premium defensive forwards, but seems to have a knack of showing up offensively as well? A bulky, versatile forward? A nineteen year old that plays regular minutes, will captain his country against top junior players, and will be relied on for his offensive game, his defensive game, his faceoff ability, and his grit and energy?

    And if he develops into anything NEAR what Koivu means to Minnesota, that would be one hell of a pick. But let's just wait and see what happens. For now, all of us can rest comfortably, knowing Larsson is being given EVERY chance of developing all parts of his game.

    Now it is just up to him to develop and progress into the player he wants to be and the Wild hope for him to be.

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