Position: D | Height: 6'1" | Weight: 170 lbs.
Team: Farjestad (SEL) | GP: 42 | G: 0 | P: 4
Midterm International Rank: 43 | Final Rank: 20
With just three more sleeps to go until the big day, we continue to look at players that the Flames may target at the Draft. Today's player is Swedish defender Jonas Brodin.
While I've made it quite clear that my preference would be for the Flames to select a forward with their first round pick, defencemen can be a steal in later rounds, and the Flames could potentially lose more than one of the rearguards in their system to free agency beginning next Friday.
Brodin made the transition to Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League as a 17-year old this past season, helping them capture the league championship, compiling four assists and 12 penalty minutes in 42 regular season games and two goals in 14 playoff games. Brodin isn't particularly skilled offensively, and questions about his upside in that area have understandably caused his Draft stock to fall somewhat. However, there are other aspects of Brodin's game that have endeared him to scouts; Elite Prospects describes him as an agile defender who plays a "quiet and safe" game in his own zone and has an impressive first pass, although he could stand to work on his shot and add more muscle.
The Scouting Report's Scott Campbell came to similar conclusions in his evaluation of Brodin:
Brodin won’t strike you as an overly dynamic defenseman and is the type of player you don’t really notice on the ice, which says a lot about how smart he is with the puck. A strong skater, Brodin has good lateral ability and can buy himself the time he needs to find a passing lane. He makes good decisions with the puck and uses outlets well; instead of just hammering the puck out of the glass, and doesn’t get caught in flux very often.
Brodin has shown offensive ability but doesn’t do it on a consistent enough basis to really entice scouts into buying into the untapped upside. He’s also not as physically strong as you would want out of a defenseman that can log heavy minutes in all situations.
...Brodin is still a highly mobile defenseman that will provide a team with a steady puck-mover who could have some untapped potential left in the well.
Pros: Speed, mobility, decision making, positioning on the rush and in defensive zone coverage
Cons: Lack of strength, questions about offensive upside
While Brodin's lack of potential offensive upside/consistency is somewhat disconcerting, I'm not one to believe that size and strength are everything when it comes to defencemen. If Brodin's stengths are as described and he has the potential to become physically stronger with time, then I don't see why a team like the Flames wouldn't take a chance on him is he's still around when they pick 45th overall. He's projected to go somewhere in the 20s, but with this year's Draft--perhaps more so than others--every pick after about the top ten is a veritable crapshoot.