Prospect Report: William Strömgren
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Although the 2021 NHL Draft doesn’t boast a pair of star Swedish talents like Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz, 2021’s next tier of Swedes is far deeper than 2020’s was. Fabian Lysell seems to have a stranglehold on the top Swedish forward spot, while Simon Edvinsson is the clear frontrunner on defense, not to mention Jesper Wallstedt being the premier goalie of the entire draft crop. After Lysell, the forward rankings get pretty murky. Right now, my order is Oskar Olausson, then William Eklund, and then, the subject of this report; William Strömgren. Isak Rosén, Simon Robertsson, and Liam Dower Nilsson aren’t too far behind. Strömgren popped up on my radar last season when he caught my eye in a game where I was focusing on William Wallinder. The 6’2, 161 pound left winger only played 10 J20 Nationell games last season, but he made them count, scoring 3 goals and adding 4 assists for 7 points total. He was also selected to represent Sweden’s U17 team Internationally, but didn’t find much success on that stage. This season, it seems as if Strömgren’s been shot out of a cannon. As of now, he’s scored 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points through 14 games, tied for 6th in the league in goal scoring. I believe Strömgren’s just scratching the surface of his potential, and could continue or even increase this rate for the rest of the season.
For a 6’2 player, (he might even be closer to 6’3 now) Strömgren is an extremely powerful and agile skater. He’s much more elusive than you would expect, and has nimble enough feet to make defensemen look silly. In addition to his technical prowess, Strömgren’s top speed is fantastic for a player his size, and he’s a consistent transition threat. When carrying the puck, Strömgren uses crossovers to both gain speed and separation, and his edges allow him to carve through cover with ease. Watch how quickly he’s able to accelerate, and then work his way through traffic:
Check out here how he reaches his top speed, but uses his advanced edge work to leave the goalie with no chance:
Strömgren’s skating ability is the foundation of his game, and will likely be his biggest physical asset moving forward.
Strömgren’s got some really slick hands. He controls the puck effortlessly, and has a pretty nifty deke arsenal at his disposal. It’s not uncommon for him to embarrass multiple defenders en route to a goal or an assist. He’s also able to adjust and make moves on the fly, with a knack for finding creative solutions to unexpected problems:
He’s also got a pretty nasty backhand finish when left alone:
Strömgren’s shot itself is good, nothing really to write home about, but he’s elite at setting himself up for shots. His release isn’t the quickest in the world, and he can’t hit corners every time he wants to, but he’s very good at changing the release angle of his shot, easily fooling goaltenders:
When he combines his skating, hands, and shot like that, it makes a pretty enticing package. He’s also great at using defensemen as screens:
He’s also shown some flashes of serious range too:
Even though he’s primarily a shooter, Strömgren is a sneaky good playmaker. He knows how to use his size to his advantage, and create space for his teammates to attack:
He’s also able to make tough slip passes:
I don’t think he’s going to run a power play in the NHL, or be a top creator on offense, but he’s certainly more than a one dimensional shooter.
Strömgren’s got an active stick, and he’ll engage on the forecheck, but he doesn’t make much of a defensive impact on the game. For a player with his size, speed, and reach, there’s potential for him to evolve into a go-to shutdown guy, but as of now, he’s more of a pure scorer.
Strömgren doesn’t play a very hard physical game, but he’s also a pretty slight kid at the moment. Once he fills out, he could be more of a force. For being nearly 6’3 though, he could gain from throwing his body around a little more.
Strömgren’s various talents come together to form a pretty darn good prospect, and I’d be shocked if he lasts longer than the 2nd round in the 2021 Draft. He’s the exact type of winger that teams tend to take in the late 1st - mid 2nd round range, and he’s producing even better than I expected him to coming into this season. He’s already shown that he can dominate the J20 level, now it’s up to him to prove himself when he gets into some Allsvenskan games as the season goes on.
Thanks for reading!