As seen here in this video above you can tell the New Jersey Devils are in excellent hands with a left-handed defenseman who uses his size and frame along with his graceful yet agile skating. Simon Edvinsson is not exactly a magician with the puck but can protect it at all costs. He can truck his way through the offensive zone like a bulldozer.
Not only is Edvinsson a dandy of a passer and a treat to watch with skating in transition in all facets of his game, but he also loves to shoot the puck from high, medium, and low danger. Most of the time you’ll see him yield shots more from mid and high danger scoring areas.
Simon Edvinsson has competed on both Frolunda’s U-20 team, Allsvenskan, and Frolunda at the SHL level playing in 10 to 14 games each that tells me he’s a very mature defender who has grown properly in the Swedish hockey development program.
I firmly believe his 6’5” 207-pound frame will make New Jersey Devils General Manager and brass gush over the chance of picking him if Luke Hughes gets selected before number four. To me, I see Edvinsson is one to three seasons away from being in the NHL.
If I were in Tom Fitzgerald’s shoes and I’m talking to my European Regional Scouts not only from Sweden but all over who have seen him play I have no problem whatsoever taking him fourth overall. He reminds me a lot of another Frolunda HC alum in Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.
Both Edvinsson and Eklund play similar styles of two-way hockey, and they grew through the same feeder system going up into their pre-draft seasons and draft seasons which is a trend I seem to find really trustworthy when looking to draft a very top-notch European defenseman.
The New Jersey Devils are awfully familiar with Djurdargens IF due to drafting William Eklund’s teammate Alexander Holtz who both played on the same line in Djurgardens. What is really worthwhile to look at is William’s ability to skate. He knows when to use his skate edges to cut in tight a get into what normally is a closed space. As you see in this highlight film he cradles the puck very well and he’s not afraid to rip the puck like a true sniper.
He’s not just your traditional Swedish sniper but also can drive the plays behind what in North American ice would be the trapezoid. Eklund finds ways to make the heads-up play and seems to communicate properly connecting passes to either the sidewall or to the high danger slot to help yield high-quality scoring chances.
Later in the YouTube clip, you’ll see Eklund charge to the point and pull off that Michael Cammalleri one-timer that not many people see in today’s North American game yet this was pulled off against Skelleftea. I really love the heat on Eklund’s shot and it seems to give the professional goalies in Sweden more trouble than they are accustomed to, especially from low danger.
The Conclusion: William Eklund
So far the jury isn’t completely out but the Devils could absolutely use William Eklund more now by both need and best player available due to the lack of snipers once Alexander Holtz, Tyce Thompson, and Dawson Mercer all graduate full time to the NHL level in New Jersey. Holtz will have a line-mate he knows and trusts in on a nearer-term basis due to both players separated by one draft year apart. As Eklund begins to develop a bit more in the SHL he can follow suit and develop at the AHL level in Utica, and Tom Fitzgerald has made it known he’d rather let players gain more seasoning than to be under-seasoned in past interviews.
The Conclusion: Simon Edvinsson
As for Simon Edvinsson as I mentioned in a previous article between Luke Hughes and Brandt Clarke I have no problem letting a guy cook a minimum of two seasons as seen from Ty Smith after playing a bit more with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL.
I would love to have Edvinsson develop another year in Sweden and let him grow in his draft plus one season. The New Jersey Devils seem to have a lot of ideal players to choose from and one of the best European skaters like Simon Edvinsson is at the top of my list for the best available defenseman for the team if Luke Hughes is off the board.
The Verdict on the New Jersey Devils’ Selection of Eklund and Edvinsson
After that, I would like to have Simon Edvinsson come over to camp and see if he goes straight to Utica or see if he makes the team out of a plethora of left-handed defensemen competing for game day roster spots. Either way, I believe in his game and if he is selected I find him going off to having a wonderful long healthy career like any other candidate I hope the Devils will draft at 4th overall.
The New Jersey Devils on selecting William Eklund would give them another sniper who can finish up plays and increase more shots on the net and allowing the New Jersey Devils club to wear down opposing goalies. The Devils’ past teams have had conundrums of over passing on power plays and other areas of trying to create offensive production. William Eklund would provide that shooter mentality just like Alexander Holtz would over time.
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