We all knew that the Semyon Varlamov trade was bad for the Avalanche. The mere fact that the Avalanche gave up a 1st round pick for him was bad enough. Add Filip
Forsberg (who was drafted with the pick that the Avalanche gave to the Capitals) into the equation, and it has the potential to end up as one of the worst trades of all-time. Forsberg, who was expected to be a top 5 pick, slipped all the way down to the 11th pick and I’m sure the Capitals are ecstatic that he did.
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6’2″, 180 pounds
PLAYING CAREER: Forsberg currently plays for Leksands IF, which is in HockeyAllsvenskan, the second highest rated hockey league in Sweden. He has gained a lot of attention due to his play in Under 18 and Under 20 tournaments, helping Sweden to win the Under 18 WJC Silver Medal in 2010-11, as well as 2011-2012, and the Under 20 WJC Gold Medal in 2011-2012. Here’s an abbreviated list of his accomplishments:
- Allsvenskan Most Points by a U18 Junior: 2011-2012
- Under 18 WJC Best Forward: 2011-2012
A huge reason why Forsberg has not gotten the attention that he has deserved is because he plays for a team in the Allsvenskan, rather than the Swedish Elite League. Despite this, many NHL teams still viewed him as a top 5 talent.
PLAYING STYLE: Forsberg has an extremely unique style of play. He’s basically a two-way forward who can produce more than most other two-way forwards can on offense. Many experts believe that Forsberg will wind up as a more complete player than Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk. He has above average speed, and can be physical if he needs to be.
STRENGTHS: The best thing Forsberg has going for him is his defense. He skates well, and he takes his duties on defense very seriously. He’s not afraid to block shots or clog up passing lanes. His awareness is very good, as I watched him create numerous neutral ice turnovers during Caps Development Camp. On offense, he is extremely creative, which makes him very unpredictable. His wrist shot has a very quick release and is very accurate. He definitely has the potential to be a 20-30+ goal scorer. He probably doesn’t have the faceoff skills or the passing ability to be a true center, but he does have experience as a center should the need arise.
WEAKNESSES: Right now, Forsberg has to work on two things. First off all, although I like his size, he probably needs to get more strength. As I said earlier, he likes to be physical, and I think it would greatly benefit him to get to around 200-210 pounds. He’s no Troy Brouwer or Alex Ovechkin as far as physicality, but he still needs to get stronger. With that said, he has the instincts to be able to make up for any deficiencies in strength. Secondly, he has to be more consistent.
PLAYER I’D COMPARE HIM TO: Pavel Datsyuk. Move Datsyuk to wing, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart. Both are two-way players, both are extremely underrated because they don’t put up the sexy numbers of other stars.
ETA: 2013-2014. He has one year left on his contract with Leksands IF. I highly doubt he will spend any time in the AHL. He’s too good.