5. Adam Larsson - “The Swedish Horse” - D - Sweden
Adam Larsson: Wikicommons courtesy of Canada Hky
Vitals: Size - 6’3”, 197 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 12-Nov-92 - Skellefteå,, SWE
Team: Skellefteå, Swedish Elite League (Elitserien)
2010-11 Stats: 37-1-8-9-41 + SWE Elite playoffs 17-4-4-4-12 + U20 6-1-3-4-4-(+4)
1 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
1 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
2 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
2 - The Hockey News per TSN
2 - ISS's Top 30 - 30-May-11 per TSN
2 - McKeen's June Top 30
2 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (1st European skater)
2 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
2 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
3 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
4 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
5 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
5 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
5 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
8 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
Adam Larsson is the son of a Swedish hockey player (Robert Larsson) who was drafted at 112 in 1988 by the Los Angeles Kings but never played in North America. Adam Larsson, however, will play in North America (probably next year) and is in consideration for number one pick overall. Adam played this year for Skellefteå (the same team his Dad used to play for) in the Swedish Elite League (Elitserien) and played major minutes in helping them go all the way to the championship series only to lose to rival Färjestad. He also played for Team Sweden at the U20’s and left a lasting impression on scouts with his size, skating, physicality and good defense. For a guy in consideration for number one he doesn’t have the dazzle of some of his contemporaries in the top ten rankings but he makes up for it with the maturity and solidity of his overall game.
OK, what makes Adam Larsson a candidate for number one overall in this year’s draft. To start of with, you are getting a horse back there, a horse in size (6’3”, 197 lb.), a horse in eating up the minutes in all situations (PP, PK 5-on-5, shutdown and last minute), a horse who will use his size and reach to produce an imposing blueline presence, a horse who will rush up the ice, a horse with a cannoding shot. In short, a physically imposing mobile defenseman who can join the rush, make the passes and man the point and has the hockey sense to do it right.
Does he has have weaknesses? Sure, he is prone to coughing up the puck under an intense forecheck just like every other junior age defenseman but there are no gaping holes. The main question to ask when considering him for number one is, “Is his offense high-end enough to warrant such a very high pick”. The answer better be there tonight (June 24th) as someone is going to go number one for sure.