We’re back for our third set of draft profiles looking at players that the Red Wings could select with their three second round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. We’ve previously looked at Russian prospects here, as well as Finnish/other European Prospects here. Today we’re looking at Swedish players, so let’s dive right in:
Albin Grewe, C/RW, Djurgårdens-J20 (SuperElit)
I’m not going to say that “Albin Grewe” is a good name, but it’s certainly a unique one. Grewe is a 6’0” Swedish forward who has been a strong performer in the top Swedish junior league SuperElit. Like most Swedish draft-eligibles, Grewe has gotten a taste of the SHL but has not stuck there yet. That most likely will be the project for next season as he continually develops.
Grewe’s draft projection normally sees him firmly in the second round, although WingsNation’s own Cameron Kuom has him in more of the third round range, so it is quite likely that he will be a day two selection in late June. My first observation of Grewe’s scouting reports is that the player he is described to be sounds strangely like Tyler Bertuzzi. Many scouts talk glowingly about Grewe’s compete level (sound familiar?) the aggressive nature with which he plays (eh?) and The Athletic’s Corey Pronman calls him someone who could be “a fan favorite and a player rival fans hate”. Basically, Grewe plays like a power forward, physical and feisty, despite being in a smaller body, and like Bertuzzi, he’s not a Drew Miller or a Jordin Tootoo.
He has respectable puck skills and scouts believe he has the offensive talent to make the NHL. No one seems to believe he has tremendous upside and if Grewe were to go to the Wings, the best case scenario would be a Bertuzzi, while there’s also the chance he’s more in the mold of Givani Smith.
Grewe by all accounts is a more of a high floor, low ceiling guy, but someone with the energy and desire to help his team, which could make him an attractive option if the Wings are looking for another gnat to drive opposing teams nuts. It’s worth noting that The Athletic’s Red Wings beat writer Max Bultman noted Albin Grewe as one of the most likely options for Detroit in the 2nd round in a recent article, stating that Yzerman & Co. have met with him.
Samuel Fagemo, LW/RW, Frölunda (SHL)
Fagemo had an interesting path to get to this point. For one, he’s already 19 years old, being a March 2000 birthday. He went totally undrafted last season, due to an unspectacular season a year ago but he came into 2018-19 with a vengeance. The Swedish forward put up 14 points in 8 games to quickly get promoted to the SHL, on a Frölunda team that won the championship no less, and saw significant minutes, including power-play time, putting up 25 points in 42 games.
In the span of a season, he went from a junior player who couldn’t get drafted to a legit forward in the Swedish pro league on a championship team. That’s impressive. It’s also worth noting that Fagemo played as a teammate with Red Wings prospect Gustav Lindstrom on that Frölunda team.
Scouts praise Fagemo’s all-around offensive ability, with Fagemo’s shot being the most notable ability, which Cameron rated as the 9th best in the draft. Hockey IQ and puck skills are also graded highly for Fagemo, who can be both a scorer and a playmaker, particularly doing damage on the power play. The downsides for Fagemo is that he’s not marketed as much of a contributor defensively, nor is he an asset without the puck on his stick. What you think Fagemo can produce offensively is largely his value as a player. That said, scouts as a whole think quite highly of him, generally being rated in the 30-45 pick range, and so he falls firmly into the category of high skilled wingers who could be options at pick #35. If you want to learn more about Fagemo, read Cameron’s awesome profile of him here:
Tobias Bjornfot, D, Djurgårdens-J20 (SuperElit)
Tobias Bjornfot is another installment on the “2019 NHL Draft All-Interesting Name Team”, with a name that sounds more like a fictional spy than an 18 year-old Swedish hockey player. Bjornfot is currently in the SuperElit playing on the same team as Grewe, and he has also gotten the occasional look in the SHL, but will try and make that jump next season.
Standing 6’0”, he is a mobile defenseman who nearly all scouts see as a very good skater, someone who is able to get around the ice with ease to affect both ends. His impact in those ends is up for debate, though. Most scouts agree that he is well developed in his own end for a draft eligible player, though like all young defenders, he has some areas for growth defensively. That’s not the worry though. The question with Bjornfot’s draft stock lies in how you see him offensively. Some see a player lacking in offensive skill, with meh vision and a slap shot that needs work. Others see someone who can use his speed to unlock the occasional creative play, enough to justify status as a top-four NHL defenseman. Interestingly, Last Word on Hockey compared Bjornfot’s style of play to Jonas Brodin of the Minnesota Wild, in a profile of him that’s not a half bad read.
As a result, there is some variance in draft projection, with Pronman having him just outside his first round, while Scott Wheeler for example has him in the third round range. So, it seems reasonable to conclude that Bjornfot should be on the board when the Red Wings are ready to select at least once in the second round, if they want to go this route. Which, may be decently likely, as Bjornfot also appeared in the Bultman article about 2nd round prospects.
Albert Johansson, D, Färjestad J20 (SuperElit)
Albert Johansson is the son of former NHLer Roger Johansson, who played a few seasons for the Flames and Blackhawks, so he has an NHL pedigree.
Albert Johansson ranked #32 by @eliteprospects
Great interception and dangle before finding a teammate in front. pic.twitter.com/VPEevVpc6j
— Evan (@Shattenkirk) June 6, 2019
Albert Johansson has a very wide range of projections, with some seeing him as a 2nd rounder, while others, like Cameron, have him outside their top 100. There isn’t a lot of information about him, but the most glowing review seemingly comes from McKeen’s Hockey, which characterizes him as a late riser in this draft. They compliment Johansson’s skating and hockey sense, describing him as a mobile defenseman who is a strong skater in every direction and someone who can see the ice well, especially offensively, with some plus-skills in that end. Areas for growth include physicality, as Johansson will need to fill out his 6-0 frame, as well as a slap shot that doesn’t grade out terribly well. This is more of a shot in the dark pick than others, but you can do worse than a smooth skating defenseman.
Simon Holmstrom, RW, HV71 J20 (SuperElit)
Simon Holmstrom fell into 2nd round territory this season after a year plagued by numerous injuries, particularly to his hip and thumb. Still, when healthy, he produced very good numbers in Sweden’s top junior league despite being 17 for the entire season (he just turned 18), posting 20 points in 21 games.
While Holmstrom was young this past season, he has good size at 6’1” but that is not his game. Scouts characterize him as a high skill winger with plus offensive sense when he has the puck on his stick, making him a smart and crafty player. Some scouts have mentioned his shot as clear asset in his game, but that is not his obvious strength.
The downside to Holmstrom seems to be that he’s only an okay skater and that he’s not a very physical player who is going to bowl guys over in his own end. Like a lot of high skill wingers, Holmstrom would be drafted to contribute on the offensive end first and foremost as a slippery playmaker. He’s projected firmly in the second round range, so he should be available.