D / Boston Bruins
Born: Sept. 21, 1994 2012-13
Numbers: Djurgården: 0-1-1, 31GP; Djurgården J20: 1-3-4, 13GP
Linus Arnesson was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (60th overall), out of Djurgården IF of HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden's second tier hockey league. By now it's no secret that Arnesson is a defense-first kind of blue-liner, and that his puck moving skills are seen as a bit of a weakness. His point totals listed above, as well as a 0-0-0 at the 2013 World Juniors, are evidence of that.
Having said that, there are obviously facets of his game that are tremendously valuable. Here's how the guys at Hockey's Future describe him:
Arnesson has truly been a defensive defenseman to date and incorporates a lot of careful, secure actions into his playing style. His skating is actually pretty smooth and he’s a heads up player who is mobile and concentrates on shutting down the opposition. Very good backwards and lateral movement and does good job of reading how much space he can afford to leave between him and oncoming opponents. Can be a tiger in his own end and uses his quick first step and sound agility to put on the heat for opponents in his own end, particularly in the corners. Although not much of an offensive defenseman, his first pass is good and he does seem to identify passing stations well.
Arnesson helped Sweden to a Silver medal at the WJC on the strength of these skills, and was back putting in work for the U20 squad at the evaluation tournament in Lake Placid this summer. Central Scouting had him 13th among international skaters prior to the Draft, and ISS compared him to Marc Staal.
If it helps, Bruins fans can think of him as a Dennis Seidenberg / Andrew Ference type player.
Arnesson comes in at anywhere from 13 to 23 - democracy, right? The fact is, unless you have a real thing for Swedish-born, stay-at-home defensemen, you probably haven't seen him play all that much, making it difficult to qualify not only where Arnesson ranks among the Bruins top young players, but whether or not he will pan out at the NHL level at all.
It's all about increased exposure and familiarity, and now that he is in the Bruins system, more eyes will be on him. Enough is known for him to crack our top 20, and as his 2013-14 season is followed and as he is observed at a more high-profile event like the 2014 World Junior (being played in Sweden), Bruins fans and hockey observers will have a better idea of what to make of young Arnesson.