Isak Rosen is not the consensus best Swedish forward this year. That honor belongs to William Eklund of Djurgårdens. What Isak Rosen is, on the other hand, is one of the most exciting skaters to possibly make the trip across the Atlantic to put on a hockey jersey in front of dozens of NHL executives. A dude whose ceiling is really, really high, and could be really, really, really good if he plays his cards right and develops as he does.
Playing for the very small-market Leksands IF, playing in a town of less than 6000 people in the Swedish inland, Rosen has been one of their brightest spots for a team that put together a strong season this year, and part of that was Rosen himself. Rosen catches the eye through one very simple but important detail;
This kid is an incredible skater.
Indeed, Rosen’s speed, acceleration, and agility make him one of the most fun highlight reels in the world simply because the second he touches the ice, something happens, and it happens fast. It’s because of that incredible skating that makes him one of the most dangerous transition players in Europe, able to create unbelievable separation speed to pull ahead of defenses, and with some smooth hands and a hair-trigger wrist shot and even more dangerous one-timer that has caused some serious damage throughout the years. And if you think he’s all flash and no steak, all that skating skill and stick artistry turns him into a very tough backchecker, as he’s able to cut down passes in an instant and, well...if you’re dumb enough to turn the puck over to him, you deserve the goal-against.
In short, when he’s on the ice, his team makes sure the puck gets on his stick.
Of course, the big problem Rosen faces is for his development is that, well...he’s real skinny. 161 pounds is downright puny in comparison to many players in the J20 SuperElit, but was positively diminutive in comparison to the players in the SHL, where he had struggled mightily to cause much damage, forced often to play the safe game. He would’ve likely played more in the SuperElit, but because that league couldn’t play because of You Know, he was trapped in limbo; too good for the J20 Nationell, but not ready physically for the SHL; not a great combo if you want to get NHL teams foaming at the mouth to draft you. Drafting him will mean turning him into your strength coach’s biggest priority; he needs to bulk up and fast, because pretty much everything else about him is well on-pace to become truly impressive.
The draft astrologers agree that he is absolutely first round talent, but nobody can quite agree where. Some think he’s going to be easily available to Boston, but some see the fact that he’s scrawny as such a minor problem that he could catapult himself into the middle of the first round. Personally speaking? The Bruins training staff is good at packing pounds on undersized talent, and it would be a real shame to see them pass a kid who can skate this well by.
Tomorrow will be more of an informational post on how to properly appreciate the kind of track that players like Rosen are on, and then we go for nothing but good ol’ american boys. But the kind you’d actually want to draft, and not just some whinging.
- 20th by EliteProspects’ Consolidated Rankings
- 23th by EliteProspects.com
- 31st by FC Hockey
- 13th by Neutral Zone Hockey
- 18th by McKeen’s Hockey
- 8th by NHL Central Scouting among European Skaters
- 22nd by SportsNet
- 31st by Recruit Scouting
- 20th by DobberProspects
- 17th by Smaht Scouting
- 22nd by The Puck Authority
- 23rd by TSN (McKenzie)