Red Wings draft Jonatan Berggren 33rd overall

The Detroit Red Wings drafted Jonatan Berggren 33rd overall.

The 5’10,” 181-pound winger was ranked 30th overall by

McKeen’s Hockey:

The leading scorer of Sweden’s top junior circuit, the SuperElit, Jonatan Berggren came into the season a bit under the radar. While he could not produce much of anything in limited (10 games) action in the SHL with Skelleftea, his plays at the U20 level domestically and U18 level internationally, where his 10 points led Sweden and  tied him for third overall suggest a player with a quite high upside. The last players to exceed his 1.5 points per average as U18 players in SuperElit were Lias Andersson and Jesper Boqvist, who both achieved the feat in 2015-16. While both of those players did it a year earlier than Berggren in terms of draft eligibility, their actual October birthdates make their respective achievements roughly on par as Berggren has a July birthday, making him one of the younger players in our projected first round.

He clearly looks good on paper, and watching him perform, it is obvious that he has earned those points. He is a fantastic skater, with balance and speed that both get high marks. He can also play the puck masterfully at pace, equally capable of deking out an opposing defender as he is at finding a teammate through traffic with a slick pass. He is not a one-trick pony either. He is as likely to drive the net when he bursts past a defender as he is to being a cycle. His angles are also good enough that he can fake to the outside and cut sharply across the crease after a quick turn near the red line. His shot is not the most dangerous weapon and many of his goals are scored from close to the net. That does lead to a question of how much of his offensive production will evaporate when he plays more regularly against men, as the slightly undersized Berggren will have a harder time of getting to the slot against more physically mature opponents. There will be fewer of the soft spots in coverage that he was able to capitalize upon with frequency. On the other hand, and to his credit, he plays without fear, not letting his size get in his way. He seems to be strong for his size particularly in his lower half. If his upper body can match his lower body, making him more of a factor in puck battles, he will far exceed his draft position. If there is a reason for teams to be even somewhat skeptical on draft day, it is that Berggren recently signed a four year extension with Skelleftea, which may hamper their efforts (or drive up the costs) of bringing him over to North America. He could use another season or two of development in the SHL, but should he continue on the trajectory he set for himself this year, he could be a dynamic scoring winger in the NHL in short order.



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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.