2020-21 Team: Skellefteå AIK
Date of Birth: Feb. 5, 2003
Place of Birth: Piteå, Sweden
Ht: 6-feet Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 11th (amongst EU skaters)
- FC Hockey: 24th
- Elite Prospects: 20th
- Dobber Prospects: 15th
- Smaht Scouting: 18th
- The Hockey Writers (Zator): 13th
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 14th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 13th
In a draft skewed with unpredictability, teams looking to select a well-rounded player with few flaws will want to take a deep look at power forward Simon Robertsson. The right-winger for Skellefteå AIK lit up Sweden’s J20 league before the cancellation of its season, scoring nine goals and 20 points in just 15 games.
Robertsson was then moved to the top level of the SHL, where his ice time was unfortunately gutted. He scored just two points in 22 games playing among men, but even though he didn’t contribute much on the scoresheet, it was a promising time of adjustment and growth for the 18-year-old.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Robertsson stands at 6-feet tall, but weighs in at an impressive 190 pounds. That strength is noticeable when he’s skating the puck up ice, as he has a high top speed and is tough to contend with along the boards. Nowhere is his power more evident, however, than in his shot. Robertsson has one of the hardest wrist shots in the draft, and uses deceptive release points to make it even more difficult to stop.
Whether it’s on the power play, cycle, or the rush, Robertsson wants the puck, and he uses his natural instincts to guide himself into open areas to release his shot. He has a shooter’s mentality, knows how to effectively use defenders as screens, and can seemingly score from anywhere. Scouts laud Robertsson’s work ethic, as he’s one of the more adept draftees in all three zones. Unlike many young players, he doesn’t make many glaring errors and is typically positionally sound.
His foot speed and agility are an asset. If given enough ice, he’ll use his long, powerful strides to reach top speeds that make him extremely difficult to deal with. He scores most of his goals relying on his booming shot, but isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas and compete physically as well.
There are areas to improve with regards to his passing and playmaking if he wants to become a more complete offensive threat. His slingshot-style release may not translate as well to the NHL, where bigger, more aggressive defensemen won’t give him as much time and space. The smaller North American ice surface will also give him less time to work with, and making quick, on-the-spot plays is something he sometimes struggles with. But, the ingredients of a top-six forward are there, and there’s a lot more to like about Robertsson’s game than just his shot.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Simon Robertsson – NHL Draft Projection
Equipped with one of the best shot releases in the 2021 draft, Robertsson could be considered a top-15 talent. However, with COVID-19 restricting international scouting, and possible concerns of how his skillset will translate to the NHL, Robertsson will likely be selected around 25th-to-30th overall. He’s versatile enough to be considered a safe option with few downsides for teams holding mid-to-late first-round selections.
“Robertsson is a strong skater with better straight-line speed than agility. He competes hard and forechecks effectively but his shot is what stands out at first glance. His release is deceptive, as he is able to let it go from multiple points within his shooting motion and he can hammer one-timers from the top of the circle on the powerplay. He is also a capable distributor but sometimes struggles to execute when pressured. Overall, Robertsson is a well-rounded offensive player with enough tools to be an effective NHLer even if never reaches his full potential as a top-six goal-scoring winger.” – Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“A worker bee with good hands and a clean stride. Uses a deception on his release and can draw opponents before sliding deft passes into and through traffic. Might not have the same pure upside as others around him, but boasts a lot of translatable skills.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects
“Robertsson’s release is among the best in this draft class and his powerful shot can beat goalies from distance. But to become more of a dual-threat, he has been working on his playmaking abilities.” – Jokke Nevalainen, Dobber Prospects
“Robertsson is a multi-use winger with good size and impressive speed who can blister the puck from just about anywhere… It’s always a good sign when a promising neophyte in a limited role is rewarded with ice time after he shows up to the rink with max effort every shift. That’s the situation Robertsson found himself in the last several weeks for a competitive Skelleftea squad, as his usage nearly doubled during an 11-game winning streak.” – Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
- Shot release & power
- High top speed
- Puck protection
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Decision making
- Offensive creativity
While Robertsson could be a very good top-six scoring winger in the NHL, his play style would be effective in the bottom-six as well. That’s why, even if he doesn’t reach his full potential as a goal scorer, Robertsson should be a good bet to make the NHL. His shot, power and speed is the perfect recipe for a 30-goal scorer in today’s league. He’s already 190 pounds as an 18-year-old, so it’s scary to think what he could become with the proper training.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8/10, Defense – 7/10
In 2018-19, Robertsson exploded onto the J18 Elit scene with 19 goals and 31 points in just 16 games as a 15-year-old. That was the most points by an U16 player, earning him league-wide recognition that season. He followed that performance up with a silver medal in the U15 TV-Puck tournament. Before the cancellation of his J20 Nationell 2020-21 season, Robertsson led all North division players in points with 20.