2020-21 Team: Vaxjo Lakers
Date of Birth: Jan. 15, 2003
Place of Birth: Malmo, Sweden
Ht:5-foot-10 Wt: 202 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
Not every prospect can be an offense-first threat who makes a name for themselves based on scoring ability and point production. In the case of Victor Stjernborg, two-way play is the name of the game and it’s something he excels at every time he takes the ice.
Defensively, Stjernborg could prove to be one of the best prospects at the forward position in this draft class. His technique is immaculate and when coupling his ability to properly angle himself for hits, shot-blocks, pock-checks and the like alongside his aforementioned high-motor, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Though he hasn’t typically had much success offensively as far as point-production is concerned, that doesn’t mean he’s a liability on the ice.
A forward who can play either center or left-wing, Stjernborg has a high motor and plays an intense brand of hockey. His ability to impact a game comes from his strong work on the forecheck and, though it may sound like a cliche, his willingness to go to the dirty areas of the ice. He isn’t afraid of driving the net, heading into the corners, or working down low along the boards and has an active stick that helps him force turnovers in all three zones.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
He plays with power and has done well in the SHL already at just 18 years old. His offensive potential isn’t nonexistent and seeing him get more opportunities to put up points could go a long way at seeing his long-term potential at the NHL level. If he can work on developing a legitimate NHL-caliber shot and contribute points the way he’s done at lower levels, it could go a long way. He already has many of the other tools needed to make it one day.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Victor Stjernborg – NHL Draft Projection
Given Stjernborg’s strong defensive play, he could very easily find himself playing in the NHL one day. Despite this, teams will have to be really excited about his floor to take him anywhere higher than the second round given the lack of proven offensive production thus far in his career. While he could prove to be a very good grinder at the next level, he’s more likely to go somewhere in the late second-round or early third-round with the possibility of sneaking into the middle of the second round if a team absolutely falls in love with what he brings to the table. A good spot for him would be anywhere in the 55 to 65 overall pick range.
“A steady two-way forward who lacks some dynamism offensively but finds a way to contribute every night. His motor runs high and he gets in on the forecheck to create offense. Stjernborg is going to be an interesting developmental project as his offensive game is solid but simple and he should be able to translate it as he gets a bit stronger over the next couple of seasons. He can play on the wing or at center and projects to a bottom-six role with a bit of offensive production.” – Tony Ferrari, DobberProspects
“A powerful two-way center and throwback who plays with a lot of intensity, Stjernborg parlayed a scoring role for Vaxjo J20 into 30 SHL games plus 10 more in the playoffs. He’ll do whatever it takes to either poke a puck loose or tip a shot from the slot, and Stjernborg is willing to use unconventional methods to get the desired result. He also uses his deceptive speed to deliver hard hits on the forecheck” – Steve Kournianos, TheDraftAnalyst
- High Motor
- Two-way ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- His shot needs work
- Needs to put up points with some consistency
With good instincts defensively and decent speed, Stjernborg has what it takes to be a fourth-line player in the NHL one day if he can continue to refine his play. Should he continue growing into his frame, the added strength could go a long way to helping him potentially become a very solid checking-forward. Adding some tools to his offensive game could raise his ceiling, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever find himself in a role above a team’s third-line. Relatively high-floor, low-ceiling type of prospect heading into the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 2.5/5
Stjernborg doesn’t have any notable awards to speak of thus far, but playing in the SHL and looking so solid at just 18 years of age is an accomplishment in and of itself. It isn’t uncommon for 18 years olds to play in the SHL, but few look so defensively sound at such a young age.
Victor Stjernborg Statistics
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.