Minnesota has made its first selection.
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After 18 grueling picks were made and we were forced to wait until our favorite club could make their selection, the Minnesota Wild and GM Bill Guerin finally stepped up to the podium and made their pick. And at 19th overall, the Wild selected Swedish winger Liam Öhgren out of Djurgardens IF in the SHL.
Welcome to Minnesota, Liam Öhgren! #NHLDraft x #mnwild pic.twitter.com/xbDSM67hpe
Öhgrenis a 6-foot-1, 201 lbs winger that is a hard-working forward that thrives in transition. After scoring 33 goals and 58 points in just 30 games in the J20 Nationell (Swedish junior league), Öhgrenwas named the top forward of the league — to go along with the Under-18 Worlds gold medal. Already a player that has lots of character and is said to be captain material (something that the Wild clearly value), and skill to fit in with the all-out Minnesota system.
The Stockholm native was ranked as high as 13th overall by some outlets. He will be playing in the Swedish Allsvenskan next year, but who knows after that! He will certainly be an interesting player to keep tabs on no matter what.
Here is The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler on the player:
Öhgren put together one of the most productive age-adjusted seasons in the history of Sweden’s top junior level and two strong performances internationally for Sweden (first at last year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and then more recently at U18 worlds, where he was also the team’s captain) in his draft year. He’s a bigger, stronger player than his two contemporaries in Djurgården and while he doesn’t have Lekkerimäki’s dynamism or Östlund’s breeziness, that doesn’t make him any less interesting as the shot-and-pass, power-and-finesse combination player that he is. I love the way he shades into and away from pressure in control. His shot comes off his blade quick, hard and naturally, rocking it back into his stance and letting it go (it really pops). His offensive arsenal is multi-faceted and he’s got some really sneaky craftiness and evasiveness to his game to complement the tools of strength over the puck/through his shot that are obvious. He’ll need to pick up a step to translate his game to the pro level, but I wouldn’t call his skating an impediment (it’s better than he usually get credit for) and he’s always finding ways to get to pucks and/or get open around the home plate area inside the offensive zone, where his skill and shot take over. — The Athletic