Nils Hoglander Scouting Report: 2019 NHL Draft #33

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Nils Hoglander
PLYMOUTH, MI - FEBRUARY 15: Nils Hoglander #19 of the Sweden Nationals follows the play against the Finland Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 15, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. Finland defeated Sweden 5-3. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Nils Hoglander

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Teenager Nils Hoglander has spent the season playing against men in the SHL. In 50 games with Rogle BK in the SHL, he put up seven goals and seven assists for 14 points. He was also awarded the SHL goal of the year award for a lacrosse-style goal he scored against Farjestad in January. It wasn’t Hoglander’s first season playing against men though. Last year he scored three goals and four assists in 34 games for Rogle in the Allsvenskan. He also added one assist in five qualification games, helping his team earn promotion to the SHL. Hoglander even got his start in the Allsvenskan as a 16-year-old, putting up five goals and three assists for eight points in 24 games in 2016-17.

Hoglander has also been a regular with Swedish national teams as he’s worked his way up through the domestic ranks. While he didn’t make the World Junior Championship team this year, he did play in a number of exhibition games with the Under-20 squad. In 2018, he played at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships and won a bronze medal. He also played at the 2016-17 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and helped the Swedish team to a gold medal.

Nils Hoglander Scouting Report

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born December 20th, 2000 — Bockträsk, Sweden
Height 5’9″ — Weight 185 lbs [174 cm/84 kg]

Skating

Undersized at just five-foot-nine, Hoglander makes up for it with outstanding skating ability. He is lightning quick, with outstanding speed and acceleration. This allows him to get behind the defence and away for breakaways. Off the rush, Hoglander can take a defender wide and cut to the net. He also has excellent agility and edgework. His ability to make quick cuts and changes in direction makes things even harder for defenders who try to cover him. Hoglander has good core strength for his age. His lower body is well developed. This allows him to be strong on the puck and to battle along the boards and in front of the net against bigger opponents.

Offensive Game

Nils Hoglander combines his skating with soft hands. He can stickhandle and make plays at high speed, making him a deadly threat off the rush. His speed forces defenders to back off, which opens up passing and shooting lanes. Hoglander can take advantage of this with a quick wrist shot and excellent release. While he could use more power to score from further out, his shot is a threat inside the faceoff dots. He has the instincts to use the defender as a screen. He is also a creative passer. Hoglander can thread the puck through tight spaces and onto the tape of a teammate.

Hoglander is surprisingly physical for his size. He gets in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring defenders into mistakes and creating turnovers. He is also more than willing to play in the dirty areas of the ice, battling hard on the boards and in front of the net. Hoglander has even been known to throw big hits. He controls the puck well below the hash marks, creating plays on the cycle.

Defensive Game

Hoglander brings his gritty game and non-stop motor to the defensive end of the ice. He is gritty and willing to get involved in battles along the boards and in front of the net. Against particularly big opponents, the lack of size can be exposed as he has trouble in containing the cycle. Hoglander positions himself well and cuts down passing lanes. When he creates a turnover, his speed can often create a breakaway.

Projection and Comparison

If Hoglander reaches his ceiling, he could become a top-six winger in the NHL. He will need to overcome the lack of size and keep rounding out his game, but there is potential there. The question mark is in his production. It just doesn’t seem to match his skill level, especially when playing with the national team. However, with his speed, non-stop motor, and good defensive instincts, he could become a third or fourth line forward even if he doesn’t see his offence fully blossom. His game is reminiscent of Paul Byron. This is a style comparison only though and not one based on skill or ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Nils Hoglander that are available on youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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