2011 NHL Entry Draft Profiles: Joachim Nermark

Position: C

Height: 6' 1"

Weight: 187 lbs.

Team: Linkoping Jr. (SWE-JR.)

GP (Including playoffs): 37 | Goals: 8 | Assists: 18 | Points: 26 

Midterm International CSS Rank: 10/Final Rank: 8


Joachim Nermark is a prime example of two things: high risk, high reward (though slated to go in the second, the risk isn't as high as I'd peg Armia or Jurco at since you'd likely use a first round pick on them) and the failings of the CSS.

 

Case in point: At midterm the CSS had Nermark ranked at #10 internationally. This was understandable as he was coming off of a dominant U-18's. After that he returned to his junior team in Sweden and struggled, putting up only 26 points in 37 games; somehow that led him to move up two slots. Now to be fair, we don't know the circumstances in which he played, whether shooting percentage (luck) was a factor, and so on.

That being said, it seems that circumstances and luck were, at best, only mild factors. From Corey Pronman at Hockey Prospectus:

Nermark's hockey sense though is fringe, and it really hurts his value. He disappears on the ice for stretches not for a lack of hustle, but just gets lost in the action. He makes poor decisions with the puck, often trying to do too much, and is often a victim of poor positioning.

In other words, if a team can get him to calm down, settle down on the ice, and not need to rush every move and play, Nermark could be a hell of a prospect. But fixing a "hockey sense" is one of the hardest things to do in a prospect. A lot of physical things can be improved by dedicated coaching and training. How frequently do you hear stories of hockey players taking skating lessons from figure skaters? Pretty often, right? Unfortunately, with "hockey sense" or vision on the ice, you just have to hope that a younger player is just going through some sort of teenage wasteland period (Ha! The horrible The Who joke I promised yesterday showed up a day late!).

If it's not just a phase, then you're left with Kris Chucko 2.0. And not even Kris Chucko wants to see Kris Chucko 2.0.

Will the Flames take a look at Nermark? It's a definite possibility in the second round, given their predilection for drafting Swedish players.

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