We took a bit of an extended break, but from now until the draft we'll be counting down the top 20 prospects in the Dallas Stars organization. We continue today with #15, Emil Molin.
Center / Brynäs - SEL
February 3, 1993 (19 years old)
Hometown: Gavle, Sweden
Drafted: 4th Round (#105 overall), 2011 NHL Entry Draft
|2010-11 - Brynäs J18 - J18 Elit||20||17||31||48||-||8|
|2010-11 - Brynäs J18 - J18 Allsvenskan||16||14||19||33||-||52|
|2011-12 - Brynäs J20 -SuperElit||29||15||27||42||+13||45|
|2011-12 - Brynäs - Elitserien||34||1||4||5||Even||0|
Emil Molin is a prospect that doesn't get much attention, mainly because of how unknown he was before last year's draft. He wasn't ranked by most scouting reports before the draft, yet was drafted by the Stars in the fourth round in 2011 after the center led his league by a far margin in with over two points-per game. Molin came with the reputation as a creative playmaking center with good defensive abilities, but it was questionable how his skills would translate once he moved up to tougher competition.
Molin started the season playing in the under-20 SuperElit league in Sweden and once again dominated, posting the third best point-per-game average of all forwards with more than 20 games played. Molin once again showed his playmaking prowess, ranking 13th in the league in assists despite playing just 29 games.
It was the big jump to the SEL that really tested Molin, however, and the results were mixed.
Molin was drafted as an undersized center who is capable in both ends but isn't one to be very physical at the point of attack. He possesses tremendous vision and passing ability and a capable shot, while his puck-handling could also be considered above-average. It's his size, however, and the lack of a track record against higher competition, that has kept Molin so far down the prospect rankings and off most rankings last summer.
Molin played 34 games in the SEL this past season, posting just one goal and four assists while playing in very limited minutes and opportunities. While the point total could be alarming, it's important to remember that the SEL is perhaps the top hockey league in the world aside from the NHL (and perhaps the AHL) and competition should be considered of the highest order. As such, a 180 pound 18/19 year should not be expected to post big numbers.
Pontus Aberg, considered one of the top 15-20 picks in the upcoming draft, posted just 15 points in 47 games -- and is hailed for his ability to put up those numbers for a teenager. Aberg is just seven months younger than Molin, but it also a bit more physically stout -- but this is a good point of reference for just how stacked the situation was against Molin this past season.
Hockey's Future left Molin off of their rankings for the Dallas Stars at the end of the season, but I personally consider him a much more exciting prospect to watch than others do. As perhaps the only true playmaking center in the Dallas Stars system, Molin represents the sort of player that the Stars desperately need and one they haven't taken targeted much the past few years -- opting instead to go after large, power forwards.
While his lack of production at the SEL level is a bit concerning, the situation must be taken in mind. He likely received third and fourth line minutes at best and is one of the youngest players in one of the toughest leagues in the world. He's dominated at each level he's played at on his way to the SEL and he'll start next season there as well; in two years, Molin could be a player that makes the jump to North America and provides not only immediate depth to the Dallas Stars at the center position but could be a player with a very bright NHL future.
Time will tell.