NHL 2016 DRAFT RADAR: OSKAR STEEN

The Wings love the Swedes. But do they actually at this point? Many thought Detroit had a no brainer in the draft last year with Swede Joel Eriksson-Ek falling right into their laps but they opted for the Russian sniper Svechnikov instead. I bring up Ericsson-Ek because he actually played on the same team as the 18th ranked European skater from NHL Central Scouting, Oskar Steen, in both league play and internationally. Oskar Steen doesn’t quite have the same resume though. He’s slightly undersized at 5’9″ but is a strong 187lbs. He posted 32 points in 33 games for Farjestad’s U20 team and notched 6 assists in his 17 games spent with their pro club affiliate near the end of the season. This was on top of two separate U18 tournaments he also participated in representing Sweden as well. Busy hockey year for a name not all that talked about in this draft. 

THE STATS

Nothing there that will blow you away. He seems to excel after acclimatizing to whatever situation he’s been promoted to and even has some pro experience in the SHL, which I think will be a plus for any team considering the young Swede. He steadily improves in every category though as he adjusts to his new leagues and teams despite whatever else is going on around him and has been ascending the Swedish leagues at a fairly accelerated pace. The problem is teams are already seeing signs of him more as a journeyman than a high end offensive talent, so a first or even second round pick might be a bit of a stretch. 

THE EYE TEST

“The book is still out on him, but the more he out-produces his peers in best-on-best competitions, the more visible he’ll appear on the draft radar. Steen isn’t a gazelle, but he’s hard to handle during zone entries and cycles. He can also bring a quick and accurate shot.”

– Steve Kournianos,

thedraftanalyst.com

DOES HE FIT WITH THE RED WINGS?

In the first or second round? I doubt it. In fact, if Detroit has an overabundance of anything as of late, it’s drafting and developing bottom-six forwards and misjudging prospect potential. Seeing as Detroit doesn’t have a pick in the third round I’d say we’re very unlikely to see Steen’s name called on draft day and I’m totally okay with that. There are lots of undersized players with exceptional skating ability in this draft, which is something Steen doesn’t really have. No knock to the kid, everything I’ve seen and read points to this guy being an NHL player, just maybe not the fit Detroit needs right now. 

Like a loveless marriage, when you look at your partner and know they could be out there making someone else happy instead of suffering through another episode of Game of Thrones by your side, sometimes recognizing that can help focus on what you actually need.