Joel Nyström – 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Joel Nyström

2020-21 Team: Färjestads BK
Date of Birth: May 14, 2002
Place of Birth: Karlstad, Sweden
Ht: 5-foot-10, Wt: 163 pounds
Shoots: R
Position: D
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 second-year eligible


Joel Nyström is one of many overage prospects ready to hear their name called at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. In the history of the draft, several players have been passed over not just once but twice and have gone on to have lucrative careers. Fellow Swede Carl Gunnarsson was passed over in three straight drafts before he was selected in the seventh round by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2007 Draft. He has played 629 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. 

Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide

Nyström grew up in the Färjestad BK hockey program, where he has seen success at almost every level. He is in his second year of eligibility after being passed over in the 2020 Draft. In his draft year, he excelled in the J18 League, putting up 19 points in 15 games before being promoted to the J20 SuperElit League, where he put up nine points in 30 games and made an impact.

This season, Nyström played in the J20 Nationell League, where he had a strong start with 11 points in 15 games. He was called up by Färjestad BK in the SHL and appeared in 27 games, where he tallied just one assist. Don’t let that one assist fool you; he played a big game, and this was his first season in a men’s league. He is small in comparison to other defenders around him, at 5-foot-10 and 163 pounds, but he is one of the fastest skaters on his team. Although he is not the most offensive-minded player, his shot can be a laser and, if given the chance, he will shoot.

Nyström is solid when it comes to defensive positioning, his vision is good, and when you combine that with his pristine skating, he is a hard defender to beat one-on-one. He can close out the rush and manages gap control with confidence. He is also a strong puck-handler, and he creates plays and gets into the mix while allowing his linemates to get into position. If he can add some much-needed size, he could take his game to the next level.

Other THW Draft Profiles

Joel Nyström – NHL Draft Projection

Most draft rankings have Nyström going in the fifth round, there is a chance he will drop again to the later rounds.


“Nystrom accelerates well with the puck and can reach a good speed. He also works his edges very well while turning. His puck skills look solid, and he can control the puck well. His vision seems good; he found clever ways to set up plays, and his passes were solid. Defensively, Nystrom plays well with his stick; he controls 1-on-1 situations and manages gap control really well.” – Elite Prospects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

“What a huge step Nystrom has taken this season. In his last game in the regular season, he led his team on the ice and made a really solid performance. Nystrom is not a big player but he has good speed both back and forth and is quick and active with his feet’s all the time instead.” – Fredrik Haak, FCHockey

“There isn’t an abundance of small defenders in the NHL, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth a look. At 5-foot-10, Nyström isn’t a big kid by any means, but the 18-year-old has fantastic acceleration and despite not seeing a ton of offense, his wrist shot often contains a nice degree of velocity. Nyström is a great puck-mover that doesn’t give up the puck often and doesn’t lose a ton of 1-on-1 battles going towards his own net.” – Steven Ellis, The Hockey News


  • Defensive positioning
  • Vision
  • Skating
  • Mental game
  • Puck skills
  • Shot

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Size and strength

NHL Potential

If Nyström can put on weight he could fill a 7th man role, if not progress to become a bottom-two defender.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 5/5, Reward – 2/5


  • 2017/2018 – U16 SM Gold Medal
  • 2018/2019 – J18 SM Silver Medal
  • 2018/2019 – J18 Allsvenskan (North) Most Goals by Defenceman

Joel Nyström Statistics