Minnesota Wild Draft Liam Öhgren 19th Overall

With the 19th pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild have selected Liam Öhgren from Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL)

About Liam Öhgren

Liam Öhgren was a goal-per-game player in Sweden’s J20 league this year but his goalscoring ability is as diverse as it is impressive. He never relied too heavily on one shot or another but showed the ability to score in a wide variety of ways.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Live Tracker

While his skating isn’t anything special, Öhgren puts himself in the position to succeed with his strength and high compete level. Speed is certainly the biggest thing for him to work on going forward, but even if he never adds another gear to his skating, he still projects as a middle-six winger with high skill and effort.

THW Prospect Profile Excerpt

“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.

THW 2022 NHL Entry Draft Guide Shane Wright and Logan Cooley
Shane Wright and Logan Cooley (The Hockey Writers)

“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.”

Full player profile can be found here

How This Affects the Wild’s Plans

With the looming cap penalties as a result of the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contract buyouts, the Minnesota Wild are in need of NHL-ready talent on cheap entry-level contracts. Öhgren is a perfect fit as one of the more NHL-ready prospects in the class. He captained Team Sweden to a gold medal at the recent U18 World Junior Championship and is going to be a hard worker and a leader in the NHL sooner rather than later.

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