Wilhelm Westlund THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 3/15/1995
Place of birth: Stockholm, Sweden
Ht: 5’11″ Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2013
THW Warm Room Rankings (April): 109
ISS (May): Not ranked
Future Considerations: Not ranked
Craig Button: 62
Consensus aggregate of several services (NHL Numbers): 80
[NHL 2013 Draft Guide - The Next Ones Draft Headquarters: Your quintessential draft resource]
Wilhelm Westlund won’t be a 1st or 2nd round pick. He may not even be picked in the 3rd round. But don’t be fooled, the kid still has a ton of talent and potential to make him a steal in the later rounds if he does fall far enough. He’s been playing throughout the ranks of Farjestad since he joined them in 2010-11 with the J18 team.
A player who is still very raw, Westlund has shown promise and progression every season for the past couple years. He’s a player that won’t stand out on the ice, but will protect the backend and chip in offensively from time to time. His size may be looked at a disadvantage, but you don’t need to be giant like Chara, Weber, or Pronger in order to be effective like Westlund has conveyed many times for Farjestad.
Westlund’s vision is so-so, but his reaction time and instincts are great attributes to his style of play. He makes quick passes that are accurate, and won’t get carried away in the offensive zone. He’s a responsible defender who plays the body when he sees the chance arise and has decent gap control. A knock on his game may be his skating and his overall speed, but the determination and overall game is certainly there. While he may be a gamble, if he rounds out his game further – and reaches his potential – he will be a very good pickup for any GM at the draft.
Where Will He End Up In June:
Westlund may sneak into the 3rd round, but a 4th/5th round pick is where he will probably end up selected.
“Smooth skating two-way d-man with a good first pass. Won’t “wow” anyone with his skills, but is dependable and mostly a safe player to have on the ice. Played quite a few SEL games this season and did fairly well.”
Uffe Bodin, Editor-in-chief – HockeySverige.se
“Solid defense-first player who plays all phases very very well, but not an elite offensive standout. Averaged sized player with a more simple game that effectively gets his team out of trouble with good decision-making and the clean outlet pass. His skating allows him to have a good offensive game moves the puck well and is fairly careful to never do too much in the attack zone. Still far from polished, with he will have to gain power in the legs and improve further defensively. He was selected to the roster for the World Junior Under-18 Tournament in April.”
Bill Placzek – DraftSite.com
Westlund has played in 49 games for Tre Kronor from the U16 level up to the U18’s. He has five goals and eight assists.
Risk: 3/5 Reward 3.5/5
#5/#6 responsible defenseman that excels in even-strength and penalty killing
First pass out of the zone
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Using the body more
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 3/10 Defensive: 7/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– Westlund reminds me of Johnny Oduya or Paul Martin who pride themselves on their defensive play, but are able to contribute offensively, also.
Follow Shawn Reznik on Twitter: @ShawnTHW