A potential third-round steal, Albin Grewe (pronounced Gree-veh) is a feisty, hard-nosed player that has the offensive skillset that can help make him a unique commodity in the NHL one day. Despite being just 5’11” the Swedish forward is a bowling ball on the ice. He isn’t a perfect player by any means, and we will get into that, but he was projected to be selected much earlier. Grewe was ranked 40th by Future Considerations and 28th by Dobber Prospects which makes the selection at 66th by the Red Wings a high-value selection.
Last season he split the season between Djurgårdens IF U20 and Djurgårdens IF of the SHL, the top men’s league in Sweden. He had 34 points in 25 games at the SuperElit U20 level and then played 15 games at the SHL level with zero points. Although initially the void of production in the 15 games at the SHL level, it is tough to stick in the SHL for a player at his age. He was playing primarily in the bottom-six with little-to-no powerplay time. The ability for Grewe to play any role on a team is exactly the versatility that the Red Wings loved when they drafted the tenacious winger.
Grewe has been playing in the Djurgårdens organization for the last few years. He has been a consistent performer who has been a point-per-game player at every junior level with his sights set on making an impact at the SHL level next season after a brief bottom-six role that he was given last season. He’s been a player who racks up penalty minutes as well because he plays a confrontational style that disrupts the opposition.
Grewe has been a fixture on the Swedish national team at various levels. He has traditionally played a middle-six role where has can crash-and-bang his way to success. He has been a strong contributor to the success of the Swedish national team, helping them capture the Hlinka Memorial Silver medal and the World U18 gold medal last season.
To best analyze and evaluate a player, we will go through a series of videos that were clipped from videos that are courtesy of Prospect Shifts. We will look at various aspects of his game defensively, offensively and in transition. Looking at both where he excels and needs work, the following videos will aid in fully understanding who Albin Grewe is as a player.
In the video below, we take a look at Grewe in development camp at the end of June. He shows his tenacity by throwing a big hit during a development camp. While many players ease off on the physicality during camps and scrimmages but Grewe doesn’t have an off switch when it comes to getting in his opponent’s faces.
The thing that makes the young swede successful is that he blends that grit and energy with skill and an intriguing offensive toolset. He has underrated vision and passing ability. In the following video, we see Grewe (#44 White) accept a pass on the far side of the ice and notices a forward flying up the wall on the other side of the ice and Grewe feathers a perfect pass across the ice. The pass directly leads to a scoring chance for Djurgårdens IF.
In this next video, we can see Grewe on the right-wing start an aggressive forecheck immediately after the opposing team won the face-off. This immediate pressure leads to the opposing defender turning the puck over at the blue-line. The puck gets to Grewe after Djurgårdens IF re-enters the offensive zone. At this point, Grewe holds up high in the zone creating space for himself to fire a pass towards the net. While this play doesn’t result in a goal, it’s a high percentage play that gets the puck in on the net with players crashing down on it.
Grewe is constantly trying to get the puck on his stick or the stick of his teammates. In the next clip, Grewe (#44 White) is back in the defensive zone to start, covering the high-slot as the play develops along the boards. He loops around with the puck on his defender’s stick to generate some speed. He becomes the far-side forward and slightly trails the play as it enters the offensive zone. After receiving the drop pass, he gets the puck to the winger crashing the slot for a scoring chance. When the puck squeaks free behind the net, Grewe is the first player on it. He skates behind the net to create a passing lane for himself and allows his teammates to find open ice. Once he gets out from behind the net, he sneds another pass to a high danger area. This creates a second scoring chance on the shift.
The video below shows Grewe working in transition. He approaches the offensive blueline with some good speed. Once he realizes that the defenders have stepped up and vacated the area behind them, he flips the puck in deep understanding that with him attacking wit speed, the defenders would have a difficult task of laterally transition to retrieve the puck. When the goaltender corrals the puck, Grewe bears down on him. When the defenders attempt to discourage him from occupying space around the net, Grewe puts his shoulder into the defender, knocking him over with very little effort. Grewe may have a small frame but he plays much bigger than he is.
Below we get our first look at the feisty Swede’s goal-scoring touch. Highlighted to begin the video, he gets into the shooting lane immediately when his team loses the faceoff. He deflects the shot with a good stick and then begins to think offense as soon as the puck finds his teammates. He spaces himself well on the rush, receiving a pass as they enter the offensive zone. Grewe drives the net and comes across the net before potting a beautiful goal. Grewe understands that defense leads to offense and even though he vacated the zone early, he loops back around, allowing his teammates to break the puck out and providing a good outlet should pressure present itself in transition.
Grewe is a true modern-day pest. He does an excellent job of blending his skill and grit to maximize his game. He has a good shot and has no issue driving the net or getting to the greasy areas of the ice. His playmaking is underrated and he can make good crisp passes. He can fit in on a power play in a variety of roles, whether it is on the half-wall, the bumper position in the high slot or as a diminutive net-front presence. Defensively he is about average for a winger at the moment but he has the skillset and IQ to improve in that area. He plays on the penalty kill and shows a willingness to be aggressive on the penalty kill. He is a decent skater that does a good job in transition through the middle of the ice. An all-around solid player who should profile well into the future.
Why Grewe is 8th and Future Projections
Grewe is a bit of a rare case of being a better overall prospect than a couple of the players drafted ahead of him in the same draft. Despite being a third-round pick, the fifth pick of the draft for the Red Wings, Grewe is the second highest-ranked prospect from the 2019 draft class. His ability to combine multiple skills and be a bit of a “five-tool player” provides him the opportunity to contribute in all situations. His versatility is one of his most attractive tools.
The development camp star should easily project as a middle-six forward who can play an offensive pest role. He should be a fan favorite because of his playing style. As the talent fills out in Detroit, Grewe may very well fit in on a third-line with a player like Tyler Bertuzzi on the opposite wing. A possible third-line that features Grewe and Bertuzzi centered by Michael Rasmussen could very well be one of the most effective lines when it comes to irritating an opponent by getting in their face and their net.