It seems all the rage these days in today’s hockey world centers around the offensive defenseman. More than ever, these kind of players tend to be looked upon more favorably than their counterparts due to their ability to make plays and fill the opponent’s net. What does that mean for a true defensive defenseman? It means opinions on these players will have a high level of variance. In no player is this more true than Sweden’s Adam Ginning.
Ginning is your classic defensive defenseman. He’s known for his ability to hit his opponents hard while keeping the puck out of his own net. There’s certainly room for a player like this at the next level but there are obvious questions that come as a result. Can he add any offense? Is he quick enough to keep up with the pace of the NHL? Depending who you ask, the answer could go either way.
Some outlets have Ginning as a first rounder. That’s likely because of his true shutdown ability coupled with his other skills he brings. This implies a player who could eventually play 20 minutes a night in a shutdown role effectively. However there are others who have him in the third round and later. That’s because they’re afraid he could be a bust. Either he’s not a true shutdown defender or he can’t keep up with the speed.
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) June 2, 2018
So what do we really have in Ginning? In watching a few of his games, we have a player who does a really good job at shutting his opponents down. He is a punishing hitter. The thing I like about him playing like this is that he doesn’t put his team in a bad position. The timing of his hits is superb. You usually don’t see opposing odd-man rushes. He uses his hockey smarts to put himself in position to play solid defense. He is one of the most sound in that regard in this draft. He’s also a decent skater for someone at 6-foot-3.
But of course there is the other side of the argument. He has very little offense. His hands are below average. He can make a good outlet pass but too often I feel like he left some opportunities out on the ice to make a better play. If you’re down a goal or two, it’s hard to have him on the ice because that’s just not a strong part of his game. We have the anti-Ryan Merkley, a great defender and almost no offense. He’ll obvious work to add that to his game. His NHL success could depend on it.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Adam Ginning – NHL Draft Projection
Ginning is one of the most widely debated prospects in this draft class. Opinions vary based on thoughts of what he is at the next level and his true upside. I tend to fall in the middle of this discussion. He’s a second rounder in my book. If he can add more consistent offense to his tool belt, he becomes a day two bargain.
“I don’t want to say I was floored by Ginning’s performance in Plymouth, but no player — Boqvist and Svechnikov included — had as many positive notes as this Swedish blueliner. Forget about the stats — two assists and two shots in four games is just a small part of how he played. For one, he was physically punishing opponents with regularity. The timing of Ginning’s hits made sense and didn’t create massive gaps that required immediate attention. Additionally, he was pushing the puck up ice with speed and agility and was able to slow things down and look for cutters. Keep in mind that I don’t see Ginning having much upside in terms of putting up points right away since his creativity, shot power and vision are about average. But there’s a lot of pre-NHL Ryan McDonagh to his game, and he is near the top of the list of top draft-eligible shutdown defenders.” –Steve Kournianos/The Draft Analyst
“Standing 6-03, Ginning is a big defenseman know more for his ability to keep the puck out of his own net rather than filling his opponents. This is Ginning’s second season of SHL action having suited up for 12 games in 2016-17, registering a pair of assists. Currently projected to go in the second to third round, Ginning could work his way up into the end of the first with a strong campaign.” –Dobber Prospects
- Excellent shutdown defender
- Strong physical presence
- Above average hockey IQ
- Decent skater for his size
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Offensive play
Ginning to me projects to a shutdown bottom-four defender at the next level. He’s a case of being a really good defender but a below average offensive contributor. His floor is that of one who won’t be able to keep up with the speed of the North American game. It’s risky, but if he reaches his potential, there’s a good reward.
Risk – 4.5/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 5/10, Defence – 9/10
Ginning won a bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka last season. He also won a bronze at the U18 WJC where he was named a top-three player.
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