The top-ranked European skater by Central Scouting Services and 2nd-overall ranked skater by International Scouting Service is the top defenseman in the the 2011 NHL Draft, Adam Larsson.
Larsson has been playing in the professional Swedish Elite League for the past two seasons, even though he is still the young age of 18. He was nominated for the Rookie of the Year honors in 2011 after playing in 37 games and registering one goal and eight assists, and he was also a member of the 4th place Swedish team in the 2011 World Junior Championships, held in Buffalo.
In that tournament, Larssonhad one goal and three assists in six games.
When scouts and people in the know talk about Larsson, the biggest comparison is usually Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. Larsson has the ability to jump in on the offensive rush and is able to create chances for his forwards to score. He has a total of 21 assists in 87 games during his SEL career and is poised to make the jump into the NHL right away.
2010-11 Team: Skelleftea (Swedish Elite)
Born: November 12, 1992
Hometown: Skelleftea, Swe.
CSS Midterm Ranking: 1
CSS Final Ranking: 1
2010-11 Regular Season
|Skelleftea HC, SEL||1||8||9||12||41|
What People Are Saying
"Adam is one of the best skater's in this year's draft -- he has excellent speed and mobility. He also has patient puck handling abilities and can surprise an opponent with a solid hit. His size and skating ability make him comparable with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman."
International Scouting Services...
"A very good skater, Larsson is poised in every situation on the ice and calculates his decisions with precision and quickness."
"It hasn't been the type of year most were expecting from the pre-season consensus top pick. Larsson saw his point totals erode from last year's standards and wasn't the overwhelming force most were hoping for at the World Juniors. Despite a somewhat disappointing season, Larsson still has an attractive skill-set that translates well to the NHL. The size, puck moving ability, and solid positional play are all there, but it's going to be up to Larsson to take the next step in his game if he wants to regarded as a top pairing defenseman in the NHL."
"He's clearly the best defenseman in the draft. Despite playing against players much older than he in the SEL, he's more than held his own by using his tremendous size, skating, and puck-handling ability. As a highly-rated young Swedish defenseman, it's not surprising to hear "The L Word" brought up when discussing Larsson: Lidstrom. More immediately, however, the comparison seems to be with countryman Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning."
The Edmonton Oilers have a tough decision with the No. 1 overall pick. Do they go with the stud center in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, or do they take the potential franchise defenseman in Adam Larsson?
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