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2015 NHL Draft Scandinavian Prospect Rankings




Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: June, 14, 2015 Following Our monthly 2015 NHL Mock Draft


    Ready for the NHL In 2017-2018

  1. Mikko Rantanen, RW, TPS (SM Liiga) Projected Round Top 10 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Mikko Rantanen is the top Finish skater from Finland in the 2015 NHL Draft. He weighed 6-foot-3 and 194-pounds heading into the regular season. After the season ended, Rantanen bulked up to 6-4 209 lbs.


    Mikko Rantanen has the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing. He transitioned from a center role in 2013-2014 to a right wing role in 2014-2015. Even if Rantanen remains a center in TPS, he's projected to move to right wing in the NHL.


    Rantanen displays great shooting power and shooting accuracy. He possesses the wrist shot accuracy, wrist shot power, slap shot power, and slap shot accuracy that teams covet. His keen sense of utilizing play recognition to pass the puck on offense makes him an incredible asset. He's also a hard hitting winger with impressive ability on the face off. He blocks shots and looks like a pretty complete forward on tape.


    If you look at his tape, it's hard to say he's not NHL ready. At the same time, the last time a TPS player got picked in the top 10 was 2013. That was when the Buffalo Sabres took Rasmus Ristolainen eighth overall. Buffalo rushed Ristolainen.


    The team that picks eighth won't have the luxury of doing the same. Rantanen is under contract until 2016-2017 with TPS despite showing NHL potential. Some International players have to honor their contracts before going to the NHL. With Rantanen that's the case, and that's really the only thing keeping Rantanen from being a top 5 pick.



    Before 2014

    Mikko Rantanen does not post the best statistics in the SM Liiga league. His best numbers came on the TPS Under 20 team rather than the TPS main roster. He may need one more year on TPS in 2015-2016 before making the jump to the NHL in 2016.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2018-2019

  2. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Farjestads BK (Elitserien) Projected Round 1st Round

    2014 Season Recap Vancouver needs a successor to Daniel Sedin. The 6-foot-2 and 183-pound Joel Eriksson Ek would be a perfect fit in Vancouver for so many reasons. Eriksson Ek and his teammate Oliver Kylington are the top prospects from Sweden in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.


    Joel Eriksson Ek is a project player with immense upside and line 1 potential. Still, he's a project. He did well with 32 points on Farjestad's junior roster. He struggled with only 6 points on teams main roster. He still ended up with 5 goals and 6 games in Sweden's disappointing finish at the 2015 World Junior Championships after Sweden was the top seed that went undefeated during the round robin games before losing in the tournament.


    Eriksson Ek may get drafted ahead of his teammate Oliver Kylington even though I like Kylington's tape better. Eriksson Ek lacks leg strength as a skater. That could make him agile in terms of not being fast enough and it could also turn into a durability concern at some point if he suffers a an injury below the belt.


    Eriksson Ek may not have the best production in Sweden. He has the hands, stick handling, and offensive awareness to give goalies nightmares in the NHL. He's a smart instinctive player with a great understanding of hockey.


    The biggest reason why Eriksson Ek is not ready until 2018-2019, is because he has a contract running through 2017-2018. Sometimes players from Sweden can go straight to the AHL without any time in the juniors. With his contract running through 2017-2018, it's safe to say that Erikson Ek and Kylington will both stay with Farjestads B.K. for the next few years hoping to lead Farjestads B.K. to a Championship in the Swedish Hockey League in the Elitserien league.



    Before 2014

    Joel Eriksson Ek played on Farejstads B.K.'s junior team in 2013-2014. He's gonna have to get called up to the main roster if he wants to make a splash on draft boards.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  3. Oliver Kylington, D, Farjestads BK (Elitserien) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap
    Oliver Kylington hurt his stock with a rough start and struggled being the #1 defenseman on the first line after being the #2 defenseman on the first line the previous season in 2013-2014. After getting loaned to A.I.K. IF he improved and played better getting 2 goals, and 3 assists in his final 7 games after posting 0 points in his first 11 games while posting a -4 +/- rating. Kylington finally came into his own once he returned to Farjestads B.K. Kylington is gonna be in the Elitserien league until 2016-2017. He can play in the AHL for two years before making the jump to the NHL in 2018-2019.


    It's uncertain whether Kylington will play for Farjestads B.K. or go to A.I.K. for the 2015-2016 season. Either way he needs to develop for two more seasons in Sweden before going to the AHL for two years before playing in the NHL.



    Before 2014

    Oliver Kylington is one of the most touted prospects in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Born in Sweden, he reminds you of other defenseman that were The 6-foot-0 181-pound two way defenseman can play the puck on both ends. His elite skating ability and ability to be an asset on special teams makes him a threat when he on the power play or penalty killing. You watch a tape with both offensive and defensive awareness. Excellent puck control and hitting ability. He can average around 3 hits per game.


    In 32 games Kylington posted 2 goals, 4 assists, and 6 points. He also posted a +5 +/- rating as a defenseman. Some believe Kylington is the best player to play in the Eliteserien prospect since Victor Hedman and he reminds me a little of Seth Jones from a defensive standpoint.


    Some believe Kylington is the best player to play in the Eliteserien prospect since Victor Hedman and he reminds me a little of Seth Jones from a defensive standpoint. Kylington reminds me of Adam Larsson because unlike Hedman, Larsson had poor numbers offensively when he entered the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.


    Farjestads BK has players with history in the NHL. Jonas Brodin was on Farjestads BK and he was a top 10 pick now currently on the Minnesota Wild. Kylington is the best NHL draft prospect on Farjestads BK since Brodin.


    Oliver Kylington was a #2 defenseman on Farjestads BK in 2013-2014. During his first season, Kylington guided Farjestads BK to the 2013-2014 Elitserien championship game where Farjestads BK lost to Skelleftea AIK in the championship game getting swept by Skelleftea.


    Kylington has better overall tape than Noah Hanifin. If he can have another strong season statistically by improving on his offensive numbers, then he could be the first defenseman drafted in 2015.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  4. Gabriel Karlsson, D, Linkopings HC (Elitserien) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap At 6-foot-4 and 183-pounds, Gabriel Karlsson may be the best defensive defenseman in the 2015 NHL Draft outside of Noah Hanifin and Oliver Kylington. His lack of offensive production makes him a project and keeps him from going in the top 15 overall. Defenseman displays excellent tape so far in 2014-2015.


    Karlsson looks like a late first round pick. Karlsson posted 2 assists in 7 games. He hits, forechecks, and blocks shots. You'd like to see him use his body a little more and bulk up by adding some weight to weigh out at 200 lbs. He has pretty good defensive awareness and will succeed as a defensive defender in the NHL.


    Karlsson has to do three things if he wants to succeed in the NHL. First, he needs to improve his offensive game. Having 0 goals and only 2 assists isn't going to cut it in the NHL. Karlsson has to correct that part of his game. Second, Karlsson has to bulk up. He's 183 lbs, but needs to put on at least 10 more pounds to get up to 193 lbs and it would be recommended to go up to 198 lbs.


    Gabriel Karlsson won't be ready to play in the NHL untill 2018-2019. His AHL contract is up after 2016-2017 so he can go to the AHL for two seasons and try to get up to 200 lbs. For now his short term goal to be stay in good shape and focus on adding five pound of muscle per year over the next four years. If Karlsson can do that, he will have a chance to be a star in the AHL in a few years.



    Before 2014

    Originally played with Orebro for two seasons before being dealt to Linkoping HC. Big physical defenseman that needs to do more to show NHL teams he is legit. Will make NHL in 2016-2017, but he needs to use these next two seasons to perfect his game.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2019-2020

  5. Jacob Larsson, D, Frolunda Indians (Elitserien) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jacob Larsson is playing on the Frolunda Indians Under 18 and Under 20 squads.


    Jacob Larsson played 20 games in the SHL also known as the Elitserien league. In those 20 games he had 1 goal, 2 assists, and 3 points. Larsson's contract is up in 2015-2016. He will get 3 seasons to develop in the AHL after next season. Teams that are looking for a quick option for an AHL prospect should look no further than Jacob Larsson.



    Before 2014

    Was an alternate captain on the Frolunda Under 18 Team before making the jump to the Frolunda Under 20 Squad.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    AHL Players At Best

  6. Sebastian Aho, LW, Oulun Karpat (SM Liiga) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap There are two Sebastian Aho's in the 2015 NHL Draft. One is a left winger from Finland and the other is a defenseman from Sweden.


    This writeup is about the winger from Finland. Sebastian Aho tallied 11 points in 27 games with Oulun Karpat in the SM Liiga league. His play helped Oulun Karpat repeat. In the 2015 SM Liiga Playoffs he posted 1 goal and 2 assists in 10 games.


    Those numbers are pedestrian, but Aho is excellent at defending against opposing left wingers. He has excellent stick handling and precise shot blocking. He will struggle to get a check on you because he's undersized at 5-foot-11 and 176-pounds. He's a very fast skater with incredible agility. He's certainly agile enough to glide with the puck to make up for his lack of size on the offensive end. One thing this guy can do is use his shot blocking to keep you from scoring on offense.



    Before 2014

    Aho only had 1 assist in 3 games in 2013-2014. Sebastian Aho needs to do more as a winger on Oulun Karpat next season.


    I don't think Sebastian Aho or any of the remaining prospects from Sweden or Finland are capable of reaching the NHL. One thing I will say is that Sebastian Aho from Finland will do well as a line 2 left winger on an AHL team.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  7. Sebastian Aho, D, Skelleftea A.I.K. (Elitserien) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap There are two Sebastian Aho's in the 2015 NHL Draft. One is a left winger from Finland and the other is a defenseman from Sweden.


    This write up is on the 5-foot-10 and 170-pound defenseman from Sweden. In 2014-2015, Aho scored 1 goal, 8 assists, and 9 points in 41 SHL games in the Elitserien league.


    Aho earned a top 4 role showing he has line 2 potential at the 2015 World Junior Championships. Sweden only allowed 6 goals in 4 games. Aho was a huge reason why.


    Aho can be a line 2 defenseman in the AHL. This guy probably won't reach the NHL though. Aho looked really sloppy in the Semifinals at the 2015 World Junior Championships. Unlike other players, Aho is 19-years-old. That gives him less upside and less time to maximize his potential.



    Before 2014

    Sebastian Aho had 1 goal, 5 assists, and 6 points in 21 games in 2013-2014. Aho played one game on the Elitserien teams main roster in 2012-2013.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  8. Julius Nattinen, C, JYP (SM Liiga) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Julius Nattinen played in 3 games. He has 2 assists on the season, but his tape looked sluggish when I watched him. He had trouble reading the defense. His awareness needs some work plus Nattinen struggles to win critical face offs.


    Nattinen only played nine games on JYP's main roster after beginning the 2014-2015 season on the roster with 2 assists in his first three games. Nattinen only played 6 more games and had 1 assist in those games.


    One of those assists early in the season came against Assat. Julius Nattinen did a good job beating Aleksi Saarela, Assat's center who is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft in one-on-one battles. Beating Saarela in that one-on-one battle by stopping Saarela on defense and constantly winning face offs against Assat's center is the biggest reason why Nattinen's stock only dropped one round. If Nattinen shows poor tape against Saarela were talking about a guy that drops from a late first round pick at the beginning of the season to a third or fourth round pick. I expect Nattinen to go in the middle of the second round when all is said and done.



    Before 2014

    Julius Nattinen is talented, but lacks experience. He only played one game for JYP in 2013-2014 late in the season.


    Give him more time to develop. He should be a first round pick with a big year. Even if he goes in the first round, you have to give him more time to develop on JYP or for a CHL team assuming he enters the CHL Import Draft in 2015.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  9. Sami Niku, D, JYP (SM Liiga) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Already has 1 assist in 7 games. Niku has excellent shooting power with his wrist shots and slap shots along with smooth crisp accuracy on his wrist shots. His slap shot accuracy needs some work, but he can use puck control and passing to create scoring chances as a quarterback on the power play.


    Sami Niku finally cracked JYP's default roster in 2014-2015. He had 1 assist in 12 games. He showed the ability to be a defensive defender. This is a guy that can block shots, hit hard, and plays smart. He only had 8 penalty minutes. Niku is very aggressive yet very prone to going to the penalty box. You need aggressive defenseman that can play hard and avoid penalty minutes in the NHL and in the AHL so Niku should go relatively early in the 2015 NHL Draft.



    Before 2014

    Spent most of his time on the JYP Under 18 Team in 2013-2014. Displayed outstanding awareness on offense and defense. That ability and potential to be a two way defenseman is what makes Niku an intriguing late first round prospect.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  10. Jens Looke, RW, Brynas IF (Elitserien) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap In 10 games with Brynas IF Looke has 2 goals, 3 assists, and 5 points. Looke looks like a sleeper to keep an eye on. Looke only had 1 assist in his remaining 31 games after getting off to such a hot start. Looke needs to play that good at the beginning of the year and then maintain that momentum. If Looke can do that, he will be a line 1 right winger in the AHL and will have a shot at cracking an NHL roster at some point.


    Before 2014

    Played on Byrnas Junior 18 and Junior 20 squads in 2013-2014. Enters the year on the main roster hoping to get more experience.


    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  11. Roope Hintz, RW, Ilves (SM Liiga) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Hintz looks much more experienced in 2014-2015. He has 4 points in 11 games this season with the Ilves squad in the SM Liiga league.


    Not only did Hintz correct his versatility concerns at right wing, he also established himself as a legit scoring threat. Hintz recorded 5 goals, 12 assists, and 17 points in 42 games. Roope Hintz showed NHL scouts he can line up anywhere at forward. You can plug this guy in at left wing, center, or right wing.


    Roope Hintz will be a star player on Edmonton's new AHL team that will begin play in California in 2015-2016 in a few years. Hintz contract is up in 2015-2016 meaning that he only needs to spend one more season in the SM Liiga league before going to the AHL.


    Hintz will spend that one season with HIFK. I want to see how Hintz does on a different team. It will give you a better idea if he's an AHL only player or a guy with NHL potential when you see him adapt to a different scheme on a different team. If he struggles on HIFK then you got an AHL only guy. Hintz may get an audition to play in the NHL a some point with his versatility at forward.



    Before 2014

    Roope Hintz played 7 games on the Ilves main roster in 2013-2014. The Finnish skater did not record a single point in those 7 games, but he does have the versatility to adapt to left wing or center even though right wing is his best position.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects

  12. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, C, Omaha Lancers (USHL) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson had 15 goals, 38 assists, and led the Omaha Lancers with 53 points in the United States Hockey League. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson tallied those 53 points in only 50 games.


    In 2015-2016, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson will go to Boston University. He will be Jack Eichel's replacement as the line 1 center on the Boston University Terriers assuming Eichel plays in the NHL right away with the Buffalo Sabres which seems very likely at this point.



    Before 2014

    In 2013-2014, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, a Swedish native, joined the Omaha Lancers in the USHL. In 60 games Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson posted 11 goals, 22 assists, and 33 points.


    Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson shows promise. He has to do more in 2014-2015 if he wants to get drafted in the first three rounds.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  13. Rasmus Andersson, D, Barrie Colts (OHL) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Rasmus Andersson has yet to play a game with a Malmo Redhawks. Instead he ended up playing for the Barrie Colts where he replacemd Aaron Ekblad who was the top pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.


    In 67 games with the Colts, Andersson posted 12 goals, 52 assists, and 64 goals. Andersson showcased his ability as an offensive defenseman. Being 6-foot and 209-pounds also helps as it convinces scouts he has the size to be a two way defenseman in the NHL.


    There's no question Andersson has potential. He needs to do a better job hitting skaters as a defenseman. He is sound offensively as he can make the right progressions and reads by passing the puck when he possesses it. He passes the puck in traffic.


    His defensive play is woeful. He cannot catch up to a forward if you have a speedy guy that can just rush to the net or create a break away with his speed. A player like Nail Yakupov will be a nightmare for Andersson to play against. Andersson has to work on beating undersized players with great speed in the OHL during his next two seasons.


    This guy will be a quarterback on the power play. He will also be an offensive defenseman that AHL teams have to game plan against. I don't think he will end up in the NHL though.


    Even if he fails to make the NHL, he will help a team win a Calder Cup with his offensive tools. If you think you can fix his defense you need to grab this guy and be patient by developing him. Andersson can go anywhere between the second and fourth round. Realistically, I expect Andersson to go in the third round.



    Before 2014

    Did not play for Malmo until 2014-2015. Has no experience in any major Scandinavian Hockey Leagues.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  14. Robin Kovacs, RW, AIK IF (Elitserien) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Robin Kovacs had 17 goals, 11 assists, and 28 points in 52 games. His contract with AIK IF is up. This means he will go straight to the AHL right away. Two other scouting services moved Kovacs up into the top 50 because of this. Other services had this guy as a fourth to fifth round pick, but we moved him into the third round of our NHL Mock Draft two weeks ago.


    It would not surprise me if Kovacs ended up being the first player from Sweden or Finland from this years draft to jump to the NHL. This guy will go straight to the AHL and that will give him an edge if he delivers in the American Hockey League.



    Before 2014

    Played 12 games in the Elitserien league without posting a point. Did well on the Leksands Under 18 Team. He needs more seasoning if he expects to succeed with Leksands.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  15. Aleksi Saarela, C, Assat (SM Liiga) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Aleksi Saarela has outstanding tape for a playmaker center even though he only has 6 goals, 6 assists, and 12 points with Assat in 2014-2015.



    Before 2014

    Saarela spent two seasons with Lukko in 2012-2013 and in 2013-2014. In those two seasons he posted 2 points in both seasons posting 1 goal and 1 assist in 2012-2013 and 2 assists in 2013-2014.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  16. Filip Ahl, LW, HV71, (Elitserien) Projected Round 4th Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Filip Ahl has only played 1 game with the HV71 team on the second line. Ahl did it without Gustaf Franzen who now plays for the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL. He will spend the next season learning behind 2014 first-round pick Kevin Fiala.


    Fiala stepped in as a line 2 right winger with 2 assists in 15 games at left wing. Ahl is a major project as he has yet to score a goal in the Elitserien league.



    Before 2014

    Filip Ahl played next to Franzen for 1 game in 2013-2014. Ahl will continue to grow with HV71. Gustaf Franzen went to the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League. Flip Ahl might be playing solo next season.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  17. Felix Sandstrom, G, Brynas IF (Elitserien) Projected Round 4th Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Felix Sandstrom might be this years sleeper at goalie in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In 14 games on the Brynas Under 20 Team, Sandstrom posted a 2.63 GAA and a .907 GAA.


    Sandstrom played 2 games on Brynas IF in the Elitserien league in Sweden. In those two games he posted a 1.09 Goals Against Average along with a .963 save percentage. I think Sandstrom is a sleeper in the making.



    Before 2014

    Played 12 games in the Elitserien league without posting a point. Did well on the Leksands Under 18 Team. He needs more seasoning if he expects to succeed with Leksands.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  18. Kevin Stenlund, C, HV71 (Elitserien) Projected Round 4th Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Kevin Stenlund only has 1 goal in 17 games. Stenlund is 6-foot-3 and 205-pounds. He also displays the versatility to play left wing or right wing and wins face offs consistently. Those intangibles compensate for his lack of production making him a solid mid round pick.



    Before 2014

    Kevin Stenlund has no experience in the Elitserien league. That has to change in 2014-2015.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  19. Jesper Lindgren, D, Modo Hockey (Elitserien) Projected Round 5th Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jesper Lindgren of Modo Hockey only has 4 games of experience on the Modo Hockey main squad. He only generated 1 assist in those 4 games. Lindgren will continue to develop over time. It will be at least three more years before he goes to the NHL. Lindgren will likely see time in the AHL as well before making the jump to the NHL.



    Before 2014

    Jesper Lindgren played for the Modo Hockey Under 20 and Under 18 teams. His lack of experience on the main squad is the reason he is not a first round prospect.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  20. Gustaf Franzen, C, Kitchener Rangers (OHL) Projected Round 6th Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Gustaf Franzen was selected fourth overall in the 2014 CHL Import Draft by the Kitchener Rangers. Franzen has 1 goal, 2 assists, and 3 points in 6 games.


    Gustaf Franzen had 15 goals, 19 assists, and 34 points in 65 games. Franzen is still a project. One thing I will point out is that his first season with the Rangers provided some promise.



    Before 2014

    Gustaf Franzen displays exceptional ability. Named alternate captain as a rookie and named captain in his second season with the HV71. Was a line 2 center rather than a line 1 center, yet was still named captain of the HV71 squad.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects





NHL Draft Prospects

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