Wednesday, June 15, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Jonas Brodin #26

By Eldon MacDonald

26. Jonas Brodin - “The Zen Master” - D - Sweden

Vitals: Size - 6’1”, 166 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 12-Jul-93 - Karlstad, SWE
Team: Färjestad, Swedish Elite League (Elitserien)
2010-11 Stats: 42-0-5-4-12 + Swedish Elite playoffs 14-2-0-2-2 - U18 4-0-1-1-2-(+3)
10 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
10 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
11 - McKeen's June Top 30
15 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
15 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (3rd European skater)
17 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
19 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
20 - ISS's Top 30 per TSN
22 - The Hockey News per TSN
23 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
23 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
25 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
26 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
28 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
Draft result:
10 - Minnesota Wild

So tell me, how can a non-physical, average-sized defensemen who has shown non-prodigious offensive output rate as a top 12 for the 2011 NHL draft (as measured by Bob MacKenzie’s January poll of NHL scouts)??? That one stumped me for a while but after watching him for a few games in a row I started to see how he could be afforded such a lofty rating. Jonas has a lot of skills and good points but two set him apart from the field:
  1. Calmness - there is a serenity about Jonas’ game, a coolness under pressure where time seems to slow down and Jonas uses that time to make his decision on what play to make and to speed up or slow down the flow of the game - no matter what the distraction. Next time you are watching him on TV, turn down the sound and put on Louie Armstrong singing “It’s a Wonderful World” and you will get the music that scouts are feeling when they are watching Jonas Brodin.
  2. Vision - Chess masters such as Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov can look at a game of chess and see many moves ahead - that is one of the reasons they are so good. Similarly, Jonas Brodin looks at a sheet of ice like a chess board and can see what play to make that will not just get the puck out of the zone but is likely to put his team in the best possible position to create offense.
Yes, Jonas has other top notch skills in addition to calmness under pressure and great vision that contribute to his success and that make him a winner. These include defensive positioning, elite skating including first step and lateral ability, excellent first pass, effective decision making and being able to log a lot of ice time. His negatives are his lack of strength and his lack of offensive initiative.

One of the other most impressive things about Jonas is that he makes those around him look better. And judging by the results they not only look better but are better as Jonas’ young resume already includes:
  1. 2010-11 - World U18’s - Silver Medal with Team Sweden
  2. 2010-11 - Elitserien - Playoff Champions with Färjestad
  3. 2009-10 - World U18’s - Silver Medal with Team Sweden
  4. 2009-10 - U17 Hockey Challenge - Bronze Medal with Team Sweden
  5. 2008-09 - Allsvenskan J18 (South) - Most assists by a defenseman with Färjestad J18
So there you have it, Jonas Brodin, a non-physical, average-sized defensemen who has shown non-prodigious offensive output but has the vision and calmness under pressure to make him a very successful defenseman and is a winner to boot. The draft rankings from above shows first round from 10 to 28. A team that thinks they can get Jonas to create more offense than he currently does are likely to be prepared to pay closer to the 10.

Jonas Brodin scores at about 1:20 of the YouTubevideo put up by BrynasKanalen


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