There’s not much doubt that Filip Forsberg is going to be an NHL player, and a pretty good one in the estimation of many. The question is, does the big Swede fit into the plans of the Edmonton Oilers, given they already have decent depth on the wing? I don’t think so, but I don’t know so.
If Forsberg’s ranked as the best player available by Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor and his staff — and that’s, ahem, highly doubtful with Nail Yakupov deemed the BPA by every scouting agency on the planet — then GM Steve Tambellini has to take him and sort things out in a forward group that includes youngsters Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle Magnus Paajarvi and veteran Ales Hemsky.
While the Oilers didn’t give Forsberg a VIP tour of the town like they did with Yakupov, Ryan Murray and Mikhail Grigorenko earlier this month, they think enough of him that Tambellini met with him for a sit-down conversation over in Europe at the World Championships.
Given everything we’ve heard, Forsberg seems like a bit of a longshot when it comes to pulling on an Edmonton jersey on draft day. Then again, it goes without saying those of us not in the room when MacGregor and his staff meet haven’t heard anything close to everything.
THE SKINNY FROM CSS
Forsberg was the youngest player on Team Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Championships, helping his team capture their first World Junior gold medal since 1981 — he recorded one assist in six games.
In 2011-12, Forsberg split the season between Leksand and its junior team. He totaled 17 points (8-9-17) in 43 games for Leksand in the second division of Sweden’s senior league.
He won a silver medal at the 2011 World Under-18 Championships, recording six points (4-2-6) in six games, and at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial collecting five points (4-1-5) in six games.
WHAT THEY SAY
NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb:
"A leader who shows by example — I would compare him to Anaheim’s Corey Perry a little bit. Has a nose for the net, and often scores the big goals. He’s a creative playmaker, good skater with fine straight-ahead speed.
"He’s a right-handed forward with an excellent shot and an effective two-way player with a great winning attitude. Filip’s a solid puck carrier with very good puck-handling skills; mature, good size and physically strong. On top of that, he’ll sacrifice himself to make the play."
Scouting Report: "He’s a big winger who is a great skater and has an excellent shot. What I like is he plays the hard minutes."
Projection: "He’s a poor man’s (Gabriel) Landeskog is what he is. I don’t think he has quite as much grind in him, but he shoots the puck probably better. He scores goals differently, from a little further back, where Landeskog scores more from around the net."
NHL Comparable: "Gabriel Landeskog."
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.