Oliver Tarnstrom – 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide

Oliver Tarnstrom

2019-20 Team: AIK J20 
Date of Birth: Aug. 30, 2002
Place of Birth: Stockholm, Sweden
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 163 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: C
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible


Oliver Tarnstrom is one of those players that may fly under the radar, but still provides immense value to his team. Playing for AIK J20 of the SuperElit this past season, he managed to score 11 goals and added 23 assists for 34 points in 41 games.

What impressed me the most about Tarnstrom is the fact that he makes plays with the puck on his stick. He loves to use his skating ability to create lanes for his teammates and can set them up with ease. His elusiveness down low is something to admire and he can make a defender look silly with just a quick move.

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Tarnstrom is also equally adept at playing without the puck. He is great at getting back when the puck transitions the other way and can be seen intercepting passes in the neutral zone and defensive zone on a nightly basis. He plays with grit down low and is not one to shy away from physical play.

Tarnstrom will most likely stay overseas for the next few seasons to round out his game but when he does come over, I am excited to see what he could do. He plays a very solid all-around game and is a solid sleeper for me in the lead-up to the draft. The team that selects him will have to be patient but he could make some noise once he hits the pro ranks.

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“Tärnström is unpredictable and sometimes surprising when in space but in a brutally effective manner. He simply warrants the puck, placing himself in areas that demand usage. Tärnström never stays still in any zone. He is always grinding, using all of his slight(ish) frame and skating ability to battle through checks to get to where the puck will be. Often he will receive the puck and show off his slick poise in order to find an appropriate passing seam, gap in the defense or shooting chance.” – Ashley Glover/Recruit Scouting

“One of this draft’s bigger sleeper picks, Oliver Tärnström is a zippy forward who seems to be able to think the game at a similar speed. His 34 points in 41 games isn’t exactly standout, but he was the strongest play driver on one of the SuperElit’s weakest teams, elevating play of those around him.” – Colin Cudmore/Silver Seven Sens

Oliver Tarnstrom – 2020 NHL Draft Projection

Ranked 47th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, I predict Tarnstrom will go right about where they have him ranked. He has great potential and I think a team will see that and take a chance on him. He will most likely be taken off the board in the fourth or fifth round.


  • Offensive awareness
  • Shot
  • Skating

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Needs to add on more weight

NHL Potential

This is where it gets so hard to predict the future of a player. With Tarnstrom, he has the chance to be something special. He has great tools that he can work with and has a great work ethic instilled into him. He also could turn out to be a solid bottom-six player in the NHL. If he achieves his full potential, though, he could be a great top-six producer who sees some power-play time.

Risk/Reward Analysis 

Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential 

Offense – 8/10, Defense – 7.5/10

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