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Wings Nation First Round Targets: Olle Eriksson Ek

I’m going to be honest, the only reason I signed up for this profile is because Olle Eriksson Ek is the brother of Joel Eriksson Ek and even if it’s pronounced more like “Olli” than “Oll” or even “Hohl”, the idea of having brothers named Olle and Joel is incredible to me.

There’s really not a lot of info on Swedish goalies a lot of the time available to the public, and OEE is no exception.

A goalie coming out of Europe is nothing new for Wings fans, and boy, this won’t be the first time I make this joke*, but man, the Red Wings need a new starting goalie. I’m not sure how much it alters their draft strategy, but with Jared Coreau looking lik

*It’s not a joke. The Red Wings protected Jimmy Howard and exposed Petr Mrazek in the expansion draft and likely lost their current/future starting goalie for nothing to a team located in a city known for its casinos and Celine Dion shows.

NHL CS Rankings

Eriksson Ek is ranked second amongst European goalies.

The stats

Goaltending stats are the most fickle beast among young players. While it’s easy (for most) to point out a guy who scored 126 points or so in his draft year in junior and assume he’ll be an NHL star, you can’t exactly do the same for goalies.

This past year, he was 7th in his league in save percentage, though he was within just .005 points of being in third place. While respectable in his draft year, nothing really jumps out at you about Eriksson Ek’s stats.

In tournaments, if it means anything, he seems to bring his “A” game. Can’t say the same for the playoffs, though.

There’s nothing overly concerning either, but they don’t exactly scream surefire NHL star.

Then again, Henrik Lundqvist had a .904 save percentage in his draft year in the same league. So what do I know?

The eye test

I’m always skeptical of anyone but an experienced goalie coach judging goalies by the eye test, and yet, here we are.

Jimm Hamren from McKeen’s Hockey on the Swedish goalie:

He does not stand out much in his game but looks very solid. He has good puck control and is strong in his technique and upper body strength. He has been the best goalie of his age group in Sweden for many years and looks to have the tools he needs to become an NHL starter in the future. Eriksson Ek is a solid goalie prospect.

The only highlight video I could find of him is this bad boy of one game:

I mean, he looks like a goalie.

Ryan Biech of Canucks Army said this:

Measuring in at 6’2” and 190 lbs, Eriksson Ek is right within the ‘normal’ goaltender sizes these days. He doesn’t have any particular skill that stands out but has good technique and uses his frame well to cover the net.

Regularly regarded as the best goalie in Sweden for this draft class, he lost the net to Adam Ahman for the U18 tournament in April. But that shouldn’t take away from what Eriksson Ek can do. He has the size, skills and a long track record that indicate he has a legitimate shot at being an NHL goaltender.

You can read his full profile here:

Canucks Army’s 2017 Top 100 Draft Eligible Prospects: #90 – #86

Does he fit with the Wings?

If the Wings use their first round pick on Eriksson Ek, it would still only be the second-worst goaltending move that Ken Holland makes within a week. He’s shown flashes of brilliance but is not of the level of a Carey Price, or even a Cory Schneider, who was traded for an eighth overall pick (Bo Horvat). If they want to draft four goalies after the first round in hopes of finding their franchise guy, go for it. They’re going to need a new one, anyway.