Reports from the Five Nations Tournament

The U18 five nations tournament in Switzerland had plenty of talent to offer and scouts stormed into the arena in large numbers to see some of the most intriguing 2016/2017 draft eligible prospects go head to head. Besides the host Switzerland, squads representing USA, Finland, Sweden and Czech Republic participated in the tournament. Let’s have a look at some of the stand outs of this tournament:  

 

Scouting Report – Jacob Cederholm

Bio

Team: HV71 (SHL)                                      Draft Status: 2016 eligible
Position: D
Stats to date: 9 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 Pts, 0 PIM
Shoots: R
Height/Weight: 6-3”, 181

Characteristics

Skating

Cederholm is not an explosive skater, but this has to do with his big size. He is still agile and strong on his skates along the boards and in positioning battles in front of the net where he doesn’t give up a lot of space. Grade: 50

Shot

Clearly an area where he needs to improve a lot. One would think he has decent shot power given his size, but he is not in possession of the most powerful shot and his accuracy has room for improvement as well. Cederholm is definitely no offensive weapon and it therefore makes sense that he isn’t often used in powerplay situations by coaches. Grade: 40

Smarts

Cederholm is a smart defenceman who understands the game very well, especially in his own zone where he is very reliable. He knows what it takes to keep opponents away from the net and doesn’t take any risks in the defensive zone. Rather he clears the puck by icing it instead of risking a dangerous turnover. His biggest asset is his leadership. He is an outstanding communicator on and off the ice and is way ahead of his age in this area. He was captaining several Swedish national junior teams and is wearing the “C” with HV71 junior team. His defensive positioning game is very good and he is excellent in using his body/stick to prevent opponent forwards from scoring on rebounds. He uses his long reach to aggressively pressure the puck carrier or to deflect shots over the glass. He doesn’t give the puck carrier a lot of time. His long stick always seems to be in passing lanes.  Grade: 65

Skills

Clearly not his strongest area. He can carry the puck with care and is efficient in protecting the puck with his long reach but isn’t the type of defenceman who lays out a lot of opening first passes or makes fancy moves with the puck. He also needs to work on his pass accuracy and pass strength. Grade: 40

Physicality

With his big frame, of course Cederholm does not shy away from making contact and using his body to advantage for board battles. He is strong on his skates and uses all of his size to battle in front of his own net for position. However, carrying only 181lbs he needs to bulk up and could work on his skating balance when taking a hit. Grade: 55

Summary

Don’t expect any offensive upside from Cederholm, as this will probably never be an area where he will excel. Cederholm is a stay-at-home defenceman who keeps the game very simple and plays a very reliable own zone game. He is an outstanding leader and is way ahead of the other 2016-draft eligibles in this area. His body and mindset is very advanced and it is no surprise he has already played in some games in the highest Swedish league. This will help him to gain more strength and experience which will make him one of the more advanced players in the 2016 draft in terms of readiness. I do see Cederholm getting drafted somewhere in the second round, most probably mid or late that round.

OFP: 53.0

 

Scouting Report – Oskar Steen

Bio

Team: Farjestads J20 (SuperElit)                                     Draft Status: 2016 eligible
Position: C/RW
Stats to date: 24 GP, 5 G, 13 A, 18 Pts, 37 PIM
Shoots: R
Height/Weight: 5-9”, 183

Characteristics

Skating

Oskar Steen is a decent overall skater, possesses great acceleration, hits full speed within a few seconds and possesses decent top speed. He does so while still maintaining puck possession. This helps him while killing a penalty as he uses his anticipation and speed to start breakaways. Grade: 60

Shot

Maybe not possessing the hardest and most accurate shot, but his release on his wrister is quick. He has some offensive upside and isn’t afraid to shoot the puck, but is definitely no sniper. Grade: 50

Smarts

Steen is a center, sometimes used as a winger as well, who understands his role as a two-way forward very well. Although he might not possess high-end offensive skills, he does all the small things right and is aware of his responsibilities. He anticipates rebounds well in front of the net and positions himself dangerously around the net on the powerplay with constantly movement. Grade: 50

Skills

As mentioned earlier, he doesn’t possess any high-end offensive skills. He doesn’t dangle or put up fancy moves, but his puckhandling skills are decent and he can use his quick skating acceleration in combination with his puckhandling skills to escape from opponents. Grade: 50

Physicality

He is rather undersized and therefore doesn’t get involved too many times in physical plays. However, he doesn’t shy away from board battles and is willing to stand up against bigger players. Not afraid to get his nose dirty in front of the net. Grade: 40

Summary

Oskar Steen’s work ethic is probably his biggest asset. Does everything possible to win a hockey game and sacrifices his body to block shots. He is a very efficient penalty killer as he anticipates passing lanes to steal the puck and start breakaways. He needs to work on his physical game and will probably never be a pure offensive weapon. Looking to play in more SHL-games this season to work on skills he lacks. Overall, Steen is a hard working two-way forward and has a high energy level.

OFP: 51.00

 

Scouting Report – Emil Oksanen

Bio

Team: Espoo Blues U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)                                    Draft Status: 2017 eligible
Position: RW
Stats to date: 27 GP, 19 G, 18 A, 37 Pts, 8 PIM
Shoots: R
Height/Weight: 6-0”, 181

Characteristics

Skating

Oksanen is a smooth and elegant skater who moves around with good agility and decent speed. He is not an overly explosive skater in his first steps though. Grade: 60

Shot

Although he is no shooter and I would describe him as pass first guy, his wrist shot is a dangerous weapon, especially on the powerplay. Shot power and accuracy is decent. Grade: 55

Smarts

Oksanen is a smart and efficient player in both ends of the zone. He plays a solid own zone game but the offensive zone is where he excels the most. Is always aware of his linemates and possess good vision. Is very patient with the puck and doesn’t panic when under pressure, as he is still able to make plays in tight. Very elegant player and a treat to watch him play with his high Hockey IQ. Grade: 60

Skills

He is a strong puck carrier, one that likes to have the puck on his stick and feels comfortable in nearly each situation. Has silk smooth hands and always keeps his head up while carrying the puck. Is a pass first guy but isn’t afraid to shoot the puck, can be used at the blue line on powerplays with his playmaking capabilities. Oksanen possess good vision and always knows what to do with the puck. Knows how to setup plays with an accurate pass.  He is no typical winger as he is more of a playmaker and with his decent two-way game one might wonder if he will play center at some stage of his career. Grade: 65

Physicality

Not really part of his game, but this is not an issue at junior level as he uses his smooth skating to escape from a lot of physical battles. Could become an issue at a higher level, though. Grade: 40

Summary

Emil Oksanen is only eligible for the 2017-NHL Draft but is one of the best scorers in the Finnish U20 league already now. He is going to be a top draft pick in 2017. His strong playmaking skills, smooth hands and skating is above average. He is the type of player you send on the ice when your team tries to get things going. Is always looking to create offence, but plays a responsible own zone game as well. He could add some extra muscle to be able to compete at higher levels but at junior level he can escape from physical battles.

OFP: 58.0

 

Scouting Report – Graham McPhee

Bio

Team: U.S. National U18 Team (USHL)                                     Draft Status: 2016 eligible
Position: LW
Stats to date: 23 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 Pts, 14 PIM
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 5-11”, 172

Characteristics

Skating

Graham McPhee is a very powerful skater. He uses his strong first strides to escape from opponents. Is very strong on his skates, which gives him the “power forward” tag. His smallish size contributes to good skating mobility as well. Grade: 60

Shot

An area where he still sees room for improvement. He is definitely no sniper but his shot has a decent power. Could be more accurate though and he doesn’t fire the puck enough. Grade: 50

Smarts

At first sight McPhee looks like a pure role player, someone who works hard on the ice but lacks hockey smarts and skills. But as the game continues you start to notice his intelligence. His biggest attribute is most likely his strong two-way game and understanding of the different facets of the game.  He plays an efficient game away from the puck as he opens the ice for linemates while using his hockey IQ in offensive situations away from the puck. Can play a lot of different roles in a game and understands all of his responsibilities well.  Grade: 55

Skills

McPhee doesn’t possess high-end skills, but his stickhandling is decent and he possesses a hard shot. His shooting and passing technique is well rounded and his puck movement is smooth and in one motion. He will need to work on his shot and scoring touch if he wants to be a successful third liner at a higher level.  Grade: 50

Physicality

He is definitely not the biggest and heaviest guy on the ice but don’t make the mistake and underestimate his physical game because of that. He is very strong on his skates and therefore hard to knock off the puck. His skating balance is above average and his powerful skating helps him to win board battles and be efficient in front of the net. Shows good overall strength. Grade: 55

Summary

McPhee is a powerful skater who has the work ethic and diversity to become an efficient third liner at a higher level. He might not possess high-end scoring skills but he does all the little things right and has a good compete level. He will challenge opponents on a high level and give them a hard time on the ice. His playing style reminds me of Arizona’s 2015 second round pick Christian Fischer. Committed to Boston College for the 2016-17 season, McPhee would definitely be a player teams should keep on their radars for the rounds 3-4.

OFP: 53.75

 

Scouting Report – Ryan Lindgren

Bio

Team: U.S. National U18 Team (USHL)                                     Draft Status: 2016 eligible
Position: D
Stats to date: 23 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 Pts, 34 PIM
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6-0”, 196

Characteristics

Skating

Lindgren is a solid skater with average mobility but decent top speed. Shows good skating balance and leg strength. Grade: 55

Shot

He is not a very offensive minded defenceman so therefore he doesn’t use his shot too often in even-strength plays. However, he likes to fire the puck from the blueline in powerplay situation and possess a decent shot power. Grade: 50

Smarts

As a defensive minded defender, Lindgren plays a very good positioning game and is very well aware of his opponents. He displays his hockey IQ when he aggressively uses his stick to keep plays alive on the offensive blue line. He evaluates the risks and rarely gets caught too offensively and out of position. He has good leadership skills and is a good communicator. Grade: 60

Skills

I would describe Lindgren as an average puckhandler, a defender who isn’t overly offensive. He is working on his offensive game and does join rushes from time to time while carrying the puck down the middle. He is definitely no player who shows fancy moves and dangles, but is a solid puckmover and doesn’t commit a lot of turnovers. Grade: 50

Physicality

Due to his lower body and leg strength, he is hard to beat in board battles and often exits scrums along the boards with the puck on his stick. He is hard to pass by and shove around in the defensive zone as he uses his strong skating balance to win positioning battles.   Grade: 55

Summary

Lindgren is a very competitive, hard-working, defensive minded defender. He keeps the game simple in his own zone and is hard to play against as he has a high compete level and solid strength. Not the most offensive player, so don’t expect big point production from him, but he doesn’t take a shift off and shows some leadership proclivities. He surely is a guy who should be considered to be selected in the first three rounds.

OFP: 55.25

2 thoughts on “Reports from the Five Nations Tournament

  1. Pingback: Oskar Steen – The Next Ones: NHL 2016 Draft Prospect Profile

  2. Pingback: NHL Draft: Sweden | Oiler's Future

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