2021-22 Team: Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
Date of Birth: January 28, 2004
Place of Birth: Stockholm, Sweden
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 187 pounds
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: 8th (Among International Skaters)
- Draft Prospects Hockey Spring Rankings: 16th
- Andrew Forbes’ March Rankings: 17th
- Dobber Prospects’ April Ranking: 17th
- Peter Baracchini’s May Rankings: 18th
- Matthew Zator’s April Rankings: 18th
- Smaht Scouting Winter Rankings: 19th
- Bob McKenzie’s Mid-Season Rankings: 23rd
- FC Hockey: 30th
Liam Öhgren can do it all. He’s a terrific skater, utilizing a powerful stride and excellent edge work to change direction on a dime and get into position where ever he’s needed. He’s not the fastest, but he can release a quick burst of speed and then keep pace with players much older and stronger than him, as he demonstrated in 25 games this season in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) with Djurgårdens IF. His shot is top-notch, too, and he can release a deadly wrist shot from the hash marks, although he tends towards more of a playmaker, quickly firing a puck to a teammate and seeing plays develop two or three steps ahead.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide
During his time with the Djurgårdens J20 team this season, Öhgren was unstoppable. In 30 games, he scored an incredible 33 goals to lead the league, and compiled 58 points, giving him an average of nearly two points per game, the highest rate of any J20 Nationell player who appeared in at least 10 games. He was also incredible at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky tournament, coming in second in both goals and points for the Swedes. In the SHL, however, he wasn’t nearly as effective, recording just one goal and one assist while averaging 6:59 minutes per game with the big club. Yet his 25 games were fifth among draft-eligible players in the SHL, and a testament to how much Djurgårdens trusted him. Only six U18 players played more than 20 games in the SHL this season, while eight registered a single point.
Still, it’s obvious that Öhgren’s offensive exploits aren’t what helped him stick around so long in the SHL, but rather his superior awareness and work ethic. He is always tracking the puck and looking for ways to either contribute to building a play or create a turnover. Under pressure, he’s equally as strong, using smart, short passes to move the puck, even with an opponent breathing down his neck. His game has very few mistakes, and that has given him the title of one of the safest picks available in the 2022 NHL Draft. There’s almost no doubt that he will end up in the NHL, and he will play somewhere in the top nine.
It’s impossible to mention Öhgren without also mentioning his teammates Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Noah Östlund, and Calle Odelius, who are also eligible for the 2022 NHL draft and have all been projected to go in the first round at one point or another. It speaks to the excellent development system sported by Djurgårdens, rivalling the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights and the United States Hockey League’s Chicago Steel in producing tons of NHL-calibre prospects. The team focuses not on creating well-rounded prospects, but on helping young players become the best at the thing they excel in. That strategy has helped the likes of Alexander Holtz, William Eklund, Tobias Bjornfot, Alexander Wennberg, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mika Zinanejad become the players they are today.
However, the fact that Öhgren is developing into a top two-way force is even more evidence of how special of a player he is. Unlike most of the players out of the Djurgårdens system, he doesn’t specialize in one area, leaving his SHL club to help him develop every facet of the game. So, while lacking the flash of Lekkerimäki or the offensive prowess of Östlund, Öhgren brings the whole package to the ice every shift, and that will make him a hot commodity on day one of the draft.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Liam Öhgren – NHL Draft Projection
A lot of focus has been placed on teammate Lekkerimäki, who currently is projected to be a top-10 selection, while Öhgren is slotted for the second half of the first round. However, the pair are a lot closer than they may appear in skill, and it’s not unfathomable to imagine a team in the 11-15 range jumping on a player like Öhgren. Scouts have been divided most of the season on where he should fall – he’s been placed from the high first half of the first round to the early second round – so he’ll certainly be a name to watch closely on draft day.
“Öhgren can find the back of the net just as easy (as fellow Swede Jonathan Lekkerimäki), but his quick hands, speed and craftiness make him an unbelievable playmaker. Among drafted eligible players, Öhgren has the best primary points per game average with 1.67 and does a lot of damage at even strength with a 1.38 primary point per game average. His vision and skillset alone make him a dynamic player that should be picked up early on in the draft.” Peter Baracchini, The Hockey Writers
“Öhgren is a dual-threat offensive player who can generate offence off the rush with a refined give-and-go game, or work into open space to make himself available for dangerous opportunities in the offensive zone. I think he is a stronger skater than some other scouts I’ve spoken with and believe he has the ability to impact the game in transition, carrying the puck through neutral ice and pushing the defenders back to create space. Without the puck, he drives the middle and has a nose for scoring areas where he is able to utilize his quick release to beat goaltenders with well-placed shots. Öhgren also displays responsible, pro-level habits away from the puck in the way that he applies pressure or stays above the puck as the F3 when he isn’t leading the forecheck. He isn’t going to be a star in the NHL but I think Öhgren has a bright future as a two-way, play-driving winger with a bit of a scoring touch.” Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“If you want a fast, straight-line skater that plays with pace and tempo and can be equally dangerous as a shooter or playmaker, Öhgren is your guy. He may not possess the offensive talent that we see in other top forward prospects in the 2022 draft, but Öhgren has a variety of tools in his toolbox to make him an effective three zone player and make an impact offensively. Hockey IQ, playmaking ability, lethal shot from range, and strong work ethic off the puck. He checks off a lot of boxes you want in a top-six NHL winger. I believe his game/style has zero red flags and at worst he pans out to be a bottom six winger that provides pace and offence to your bottom two lines. I believe Öhgren’s hockey intelligence is one of the main factors that could help him transition into the NHL level.” Jared Brown, DraftPro
- Strong away from the puck
- Strong, accurate shot
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Evening out his skating
- Lacks aggression on the puck
It’s difficult to say where Öhgren will end up in the NHL. His intelligence and awareness are already well developed and it’s all but guaranteed he’ll end up in North America one day. Dobber Prospects’ scout Alexa Potack sees Öhgren as a high-pace, creative middle-six winger, given that he has one of the highest floors of any player in his draft class. But there’s room for improvement, and he could end up as a top-six or even a first-line player in the right system. No matter where he ends up, though, someone will be drafting an NHL player and won’t have long to wait before he arrives.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7/10, Defence – 7/10
Öhgren had an all-star 2021-22 in the J20 Nationell league, taking home the Best +/- Rating, Top Goal Scorer, and the Best Forward awards at the end of the season, as well as a silver medal in the playoffs. He also won a bronze medal at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Tournament and a gold medal at the U18 World Junior Championship this spring.
Liam Öhgren Statistics
- SJ Hockey Now: Mikael Holm On Why Liam Öhgren Could Be in NHL Soon
- DRAFTPRO – Scouting Focus – Liam Ohgren
An elementary teacher by day and an avid hockey fan, Dayton joined The Hockey Writers in 2019 and currently covers the Ottawa Senators, World Juniors, and NHL Entry Draft.