Last year saw 25 players drafted out of the Swedish leagues and to NHL teams. The Stars choose two of them, Niklas Hansson and Matej Paulovic, and in the past four years have drafted consistently out of Sweden.
Last year saw one of the deepest pools of draft eligibles from Sweden in recent years. Three were drafted in the first round (Elias Lindholm, Alexander Wennberg and Andre Burakovsky), and 11 were drafted in the first 90 selections.
This year's pool of Swedish prospects could potentially match that number of draftees in the first three rounds. In NHL Central Scouting Services preliminary rankings, they list three players as 'A' ranked prospects (potential first round picks). They are William Nylander, Jakub Vrana and David Pastrnak. In terms of 'B' ranked prospects, (potential 2nd-3rd round prospects) there are 17.
So it could be a strong draft for Swedish prospects,and with the Stars consistently drafting from Sweden, it could be an area of interest.
So who should Stars fans keep an eye out for?
Adrian Kempe is a big center who plays with a physical edge. He's got a big frame to fill out, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, and would have the size needed for the North American game.
He's only played 10 games so far in the SuperElit for MODO J20 and had a point per game. He's been called up to their adult team in the SHL and has four points in 16 games. A brief look at some of their games shows that he is spending most of his time on the third and fourth lines.
He's an interesting one and apparently more physical than the average Swedish forward. It's still too early to predict when he will be drafted, but he could go anywhere between the first and third rounds. His draft position might be influenced by his ability to handle the adults of the SHL.
The Stars have gone quite defenseman heavy when it comes to their Swedish prospects (Niklas Hansson, Ludwig Bystrom, John Klingberg, Patrik Nemeth), and it wouldn't be surprising to see them select another Swedish blueliner.
Julius Bergman could someone who is on their radar. He's a right shot defenseman playing with Frolunda J20. He's not a small defenseman at 6-1, 196 pounds, and he is noted for his physicality.
He had experience in the Allsvenska at the age of 17 playing against adults in the Swedish second-tier league. He went pointless in 23 games, but the fact he played that many at all is relatively impressive.
This year he's been loaned to Frolunda J20 where he wears the 'A'. In 21 games, he has 16 points and an impressive plus-14 rating. He is someone I am going to keep an eye on as the season progresses because he strikes me as someone the Stars would definitely be interested in.
Finally in my quick look at Swedish prospects is Anton Karlsson. He's a left wing playing with Frolunda J20, just like Bergman. He's 6-1, 194 pounds, and he has 17 points in 16 games for Frolunda J20.
He's a classic Swedish two-way forward who can perform a good checking and defensive role while having some pretty good play-making skills.
He's a hard one to place, but on the FutureConsiderations draft rankings for November, he is 15th.