Prospect Report: Jonathan Myrenberg
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
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There’s nothing I love more than watching a game for a specific player, and becoming completely enthralled with someone else who I’ve never heard of before. That’s exactly what happened when I tuned into the September 20th Frölunda vs Linköping J20 game, hoping to see some magic from the plethora of legit draft prospects on Frölunda’s squad. While the Frölunda boys did leave quite the impression, the player I was most intrigued with after 60 minutes was defenseman Jonathan Myrenberg of Linköping. It seems as if Sweden’s youth national coaches have also been quite intrigued by Myrenberg over the past few years, as he’s represented Sweden at both the U16 and U17 levels internationally. He played 7 J20 games last season, going pointless, and upon further review, didn’t make much of an impact at all in those 7 games. This season, Myrenberg seems to have found his game. Through his first 15 games, he’s posted 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points, playing on Linköping’s top pair.
There’s quite a few tools that Myrenberg has at his disposal, the first of which being a solid skating foundation. He’s got great three way mobility, and deceptive edge work that allows him to gain separation with the puck. Watch how easily and smoothly he opens up his hips here, sending the forechecker flying:
In addition to these small space escapability skills, Myrenberg is also quite gifted when it comes to zone entries and possession. Check out how he orchestrates this breakout and entry, turning it into a goal:
You might have noticed that I used the term “three way mobility” above. That’s because Myrenberg has some issues when skating backwards. His backwards movement is drastically slower than his forward movement, and it can really tie him up when defending speedy forwards. I don’t see any unfixable technical flaws, or anything glaringly wrong with his backwards stride, and his mobility in other directions leads me to believe he’ll figure it out eventually. It is a bit concerning though, and will likely be one of the major focus points of his game moving forward.
Myrenberg’s puck skills are pretty average. I’ve noticed him make a few slick plays at the blue line and along the boards with the puck, but nothing special.
So far, Myrenberg’s one of the better shooting defensive prospects I’ve ever seen. His wrist shot is a laser, ridiculously accurate from anywhere in the zone, and his one timer has some serious heat as well:
Despite being a gifted skater and shooter, Myrenberg’s vision leaves a lot to be desired. He’ll make a fantastic move in his own zone, cut to the neutral zone, and then lay some egg of a pass that gets intercepted. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that he plays at high speeds, and his brain can’t quite keep up with his feet. In fact, because of this, Myrenberg will often set up in the circle on the power play. He doesn’t quite have the vision or passing ability to QB a power play from the point, but he’s a great shooting option.
Myrenberg is a very predictable defender. His number one preference is to step up at the line and lay the body. Sometimes he’ll even go out of his way to do so:
His solid forward speed lets him close gaps quickly like this, and I assume he prefers to be aggressive so that he doesn’t have to skate backwards as much. If stepping up isn’t an option, that’s where things start to get murky. He’s fairly easy to beat one on one if the puck carrier has any speed, but Myrenberg is very proficient when he can force players into physical battles.
As I stated above, the majority of Myrenberg’s defensive presence comes from his physicality, but it’s not just limited to the defensive zone. Myenberg’s got a bit of a mean streak to him, and will take just about any opportunity to lay a big hit:
As of now, I’ve got Myrenberg pegged as a mid-round project, but he’s a pretty intriguing one. The strides he’s made since last season are fantastic, and if he can keep up that trajectory, he’s got the potential to be an NHL player one day.
Thanks for reading!