#6 Oliver Ekman-Larsson – 2009 NHL Entry Draft Rankings

Christopher Ralph is a hockey writer with a focus on prospects and the entry draft, as well as the Leafs’ correspondent here at THW.

“Full Potential” Prospect Profile:

Please “Click Here” for “Notes Up Front” and the “Legend” for various topics covered below, as well as a running live updated NHL 2009 Draft rankings.

6. Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Karlskrona, SWE – 6’2″ 176 lbs – Allsvenskan – Leksand – D

One-Timer: The secret is out. Readers don’t even need The Hockey Spy to reveal this sky-rocketing gem! “OEL” has been called a poor-man’s Nik Lidstrom. That’s actually a compliment! Already possessing a pro-level shot, the fluid puck-moving defenseman might very well land in the Top 5 of this draft. “OEL” also has radar-like passing ability coming out of his own zone, making effortless pinpoint stretch passes.

NHL Player(s) Comparison: Niklas Kronwall,  Nik Lidstrom -lite,  Sergei Zubov

Oliver Ekman-Larsson has gone on to a terrific NHL career. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Bio/Profile/Interview Links:

http://www.defendingbigd.com/2009/6/13/908204/2009-nhl-draft-profile-oliver

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/11165/2009_prospects_oliver_ekmanlarsson/

Scouting Combine Performance:

  • Gare noted “Oliver Eklund-Larsson, the Swedish defenceman whose stock climbed dramatically this season, BA BA”, that is, below average with respect to upper and lower body physical development.
  • TSN staff reported OEL “was really skinny, but has a projectable frame with lots of room to grow.  At the same time he only managed half a dozen bench presses, so he’ll need to get stronger.”
  • NHL.com, interestingly, stated OEL finished second overall in the VO2 max aerobic fitness test, which measures how quickly a player can recover between shifts. He scored 68.7 milliliters per kilogram per minute. The average for the group was 56.8, up from 56.3 a year ago.

International Tournaments: OEL was a top-pairing blueliner for Sweden’s WJC-U18 entry and registered an impressive 8 points in 6 games from the back end.

ETA = 2 to 3 years

Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 2/5   Reward = 5/5

NHL Potential: #1 offensive defenseman

Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive = 9/10   Defensive = 9/10

Other Rankings:

  • ISS: 9
  • CSB: 4-E
  • TSN: 10
  • THN:  13

Video Links: (Shown briefly – ranked #8)