Alexander Wennberg is the second most talented Swedish player who is entering the NHL Draft on Sunday. He can play both the left wing and the centre. He might not be as highly rated as compatriot Elias Lindholm but Wennberg is an impressive player in his own right. He's been playing in the Swedish Second Division this season with Djurgarden but a post season trade sent him to Frolunda in the newly labeled Swedish Hockey League (Previously Elitserien).
Wennberg is an excellent skater who can get up and down the ice very quickly. Even though he is very lean, he's only 6"0 175lbs, he is deceivingly strong on his skates and hard to push off the puck. His agility and skating skills means he is a very hard forward to pin down and he can dodge oncoming players with a lot of efficiency.
He's not going to dangle his way through every player but he can protect the puck well and pass the puck effectively. He's got a pretty fast and accurate shot as well which makes him into a dangerous threat. His main criticism when it comes to his offensive game is that he doesn't shoot the puck enough. If he shot the puck more than that would be good and help put more points on the board.
Defensively, like many Swedish forwards, he is pretty good. He doesn't play a physical game, he needs to fill out his frame before he can do that effectively, but he is excellent positionally. He plays with an active stick and can disrupt the plays and generally perform his defensive duties well.
Like I've already mentioned he needs to fill out his frame. He's not a dominating physical presence and his size means his physical game is under developed. Wennberg will need to add on weight but that shouldn't be a problem and he has time to do this. He'd likely spend a year or two in Sweden playing in the top adult league before he is ready for the AHL so theres time for him to fill his frame and develop the physicality needed for North American hockey.
I think theres a real chance that we will see Alexander Wennberg in a Stars jersey on draft day, especially if both Lindholm and Ristolainen have already been selected. Whether they pick him at 10 or move down a few spots to nab him I don't know. But he's exactly the kind of player that the Stars love and will be a good addition to the Stars prospect pool.
|Season||Team||Games Played||Goals||Assists||Points||+/-||Penalty Minutes|
|2011-12||Djurgarden J20 (SuperElit)||42||1||18||19||7||6|
|2011-12||Djurgarden J20 (SuperElit)||3||0||1||1||0||0|
Established himself as a top-six forward in his first pro season, finishing second in the Allsvenskan among junior-aged scorers with 14 goals .. took multiple steps forward in his development last season - emerging among Djurgarden's most important performers for extended stretches in the second half .. proved a bright spot internationally as well - winning silver at the U20 World Juniors - while admirably handling a heavy load for an 18-year-old (6-2-1-3) ..
International Scouting Services:
Slick offensive talent who can create and finish very well.
A very smooth offensive talent, Wennberg is a player who is flying slightly under the radar due to the fact he did not receive as much exposure due to his late birthdate this year. Playing his first full season of Men's hockey, Wennberg put up very impressive numbers and was the third highest scoring junior eligible player in Sweden's second highest league, the Allsvenskan. Wennberg is a very good skater who reads the play well around the puck and can win himself space well with and without the puck. He places his shots very well, shows very good active motion in the offensive zone and has solid instincts. He can kill penalties but is best suited in offensive situations.
NHL Potential: Very good secondary offensive weapon with room to grow into an impact player.
Style compares to: Jakub Voracek
Defensively, Wennberg plays with his head on a swivel and is very aware of the situation out on the ice. He puts himself in a good position to take away plays from the point. He is tough to play against because of his physical game, and consistently out- works opponents without the puck to help his team win games. Aside from his work with his body, Wennberg thinks the game well, and plays with good confidence and makes quick reads. Teams will definitely be interested in Wennberg's solid overall game. He may not have elite offensive abilities, but his intensity and physical game makes up for it. He has some work to do for his overall game, but he has had good success offensively this season while playing on Djurgarden's men's team. He should be used to the speed of playing with older players, which puts him in a good position to succeed in the future at the NHL level.
Wennberg's style is reminiscent of Henrik Zetterberg. However, we caution that this is a stylistic comparison and not one that is meant to be about potential, as we really don't see Wennberg playing at the elite level that categorizes Zetterberg's remarkable career. Instead we see Wennberg's ceiling as a quality top 6 centre, with two way ability who can be used in all situations. He can still be a very valuable addition to any club.
Some highlights (Wennberg is number 10)