The Nashville Predators have acquired the services of one of the most sought after free agents out of Sweden this year. The team has signed 21-year-old centre Victor Ejdsell to an entry level contract. Ejdsell led the Swedish Allvenskan in points this year with 57 (25 goals, 32 assists) in 50 games. He was also named league MVP, playing for Bofors IK.
Our friends at Cap Friendly have confirmed that it is a two-year, not three-year ELC.
@LastWordBKerr Hey Ben. It's a 2 year deal.
@LastWordBKerr $742,500 in 2017-18
$925,000 in 2018-19
Nashville Predators Secure Diamond in the Rough with Victor Ejdsell
Right Wing/Centre — shoots Left
Born June 6th, 1995 — Karlstad, Sweden
Height 6’5″ — Weight 214 lbs [195 cm / 97 kg]
At 6’5″ tall and 214 pounds, Ejdsell brings an intriguing frame to Nashville. He uses his size to maintain puck possession and shield it away from defenders. Strong stick handling ability and his long reach also help Ejdsell generate offense. He can extend the play and make slick passes to teammates. Ejdsell has high end hockey IQ, and seems to make the right play with the puck on his stick.
Most of Ejdsell’s goals come from in close to the net. He is a good skater for his size. While he’s not an absolute burner, he has the speed and power necessary to drive the net and the soft hands to finish in close. He also has the quickness to bury rebounds, as well as the hand-eye co-ordination to get deflections.
Edjsell is also good in his own end. He is strong in the face-off circle. He is also good at cutting down passing and shooting lanes with his long stick and big frame. His hockey IQ extends to the defensive zone, as he reads the play well and has good positioning.
Areas to Improve
Some areas of concern are Ejdsell’s shot from further out. He could use more power in his shot, and he could stand to use it more often. Varying his game in order to keep defenders guessing will be a key at the next level. There is also some concern that the offensive explosion he saw this season was a one-off, as well as concern about the level of competition he faced.
There are some reports that if Ejdsell does not make the Predators out of camp, he will spend the 2017-18 season playing or HV71 in the SHL (top Swedish Division).
While some like to compare the SHL and Allsvenskan to the Swedish equivalent of the NHL/AHL, this isn’t exactly accurate. Swedish hockey has a promotion/relegation system similar to what we see in European Football (Soccer leagues). In this way it is more equivalent to England’s Premier League/Championship situation.
In other words, it shouldn’t be held against Ejdsell that he wasn’t promoted to the SHL during the season. There wasn’t necessarily the opportunity to do so. His rights though have been transferred to HV71 for any possible return to Sweden next year.
Just 21 years old, there is not a huge rush to get Ejdsell into the NHL; and Predators fans shouldn’t be alarmed if he takes some time to finish his development. Overall he could be a diamond in the rough.
Main Photo via twitter BIK_Karlskoga.