2021-22 Team: Södertälje SK J20 (Nationell)
Date of Birth: Mar 05, 2004
Place of Birth: Stockholm, SWE
Ht: 6-foot-4 Wt: 207 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 52nd (among EU skaters)
- Peter Baracchini’s May Rankings: 125th
- Recruit Scouting: 86th
When you start to get to the mid or later portion of the draft, that is where you look to find potential gems that provide high upside and impact. After watching him for some time, I’ve really grown to like Södertälje SK J20 defenseman Filip Nordberg.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Nordberg is an extremely mobile and active two-way defender. He’s shown great progression offensively as he had 21 assists and 27 points in 42 games this season. He loves to jump into the rush and join the attack but has the ability to provide a sound and defensive game while also playing with a high level of pace and intensity. He has a long and smooth skating stride and great foot speed for a player of his size with strong edges to either cut to the inside or outside to get around opponents. From his own zone, he generates a great burst of speed and is difficult to contain when he powers through the neutral zone.
Nordberg has the vision and awareness to spot his teammates and make strong and crisp passes. In the offensive zone, he does a great job to protect the puck and push defenders off, even when he’s engaged on the cycle. He has a hard shot from the point to generate scoring chances or even second opportunities. He has great patience when finding the open lane for a shot or getting open for a one-timer.
Defensively, Nordberg has great potential as he is a very sound and aggressive defender. He has a long stretch to break up plays and has great gap control to keep attackers to the outside. With his size, he’s able to be a menacing player when engaged physically. He isn’t afraid to step up and lay a big hit on his opponent along the boards. He provides a strong presence in front of the net and in board battles within his zone as he’s always in your face with his menacing style.
While Nordberg has a great foundation on both sides of the puck, he can look to improve on his reads and pinches where he might be too eager and make the first move, getting himself out of position and out of the play. While he shows good puck control, there are times where he makes an extra move or two and it ends up in a broken play. Even defensively, he can be quick to make a rash decision. The framework with his game is there and he definitely has a lot of upside given how he can be an effective player with his potential as a two-way presence.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Filip Nordberg- NHL Draft Projection
There’s a lot to like with Nordberg’s game. While he may not be as noticeable as other defenders in this draft, he has flown under the radar as he definitely has the skillset, strength and potential to be a great selection in the middle portion of the draft. There definitely should be talk of him as a late third or even an early fourth-round selection for a talented puck-moving defender with a strong defensive game.
“With him, you know that you will have power on the ice and he will always make it hard for opponents to get scoring chances. In his own zone he is a pain to face for opponents. Nordberg does often own the area in front of the net or along the boards by being physical and active with his stick to put pressure.”– Frederik Haak, FC Hockey (from ‘23478 – MoDo J20 vs. Sodertalje J20’, FC Hockey – 2/22/22)
“He is very laid back defensively. He likes to wait and see what the attacker does before stepping in and try to take the puck away. That can lead to him ending up a little bit on his back foot when players challenge him but it also leads to him being able to break up play nicely. Nordberg anticipates passes well and uses his stick to break up play on a consistent basis… Sometimes his decision making is lacking and he tries to do too much and loses the puck.”– Mikael Holm, Swedish Scout/ SMAHT Scouting
“One thing that has caught my eye offensively is his ability to use space to his advantage, his heavy shot and his ability to make tape-to-tape passes in the slot to set up teammates. Nordberg can find difficulty sometimes while entering the offensive zone by trying to do too much, I believe he should push to the outside more than he does as it results in quite a few turnovers.”– Gavin Chiasson, Recruit Scouting
- Strong defensive game
- Gap control and positioning
- Mobility and speed
Under Construction- Improvements to Make
- Improve decision making
- Puck control
- Learn to simplify things
Based on his skating and framework for a two-way defender, Nordberg would be a welcoming addition to any team’s prospect pool as a potential top-four player, capable of also playing in a shutdown role. His mobility and offensive game fits that of the modern-day defenseman but also has the edge and physical play that team’s still find valuable. Look for him to be factor in all situations as he can be a reliable player.
Risk- Reward Analysis
Risk- 2/5, Reward 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense- 6.5/10, Defense 6.5/10
Nordberg was drafted 43rd overall in the 2022 USHL Entry Draft by the Youngstown Phantoms.
Filip Nordberg Statistics
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Peter is in his third year with The Hockey Writers, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and heading the Draft and Prospects section. He has previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. He currently is the co-host of the podcast Sticks in the 6ix and a frequent guest on Maple Leafs Lounge. Aside from hockey, he also enjoys drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.