Since signing Joel Persson to a one-year deal back in May, there hasn’t been a whole lot of information about the player apart from finding out that he will spend next year playing for the Vaxjo Lakers in Sweden. That being said, Persson is a low-risk, offensive-minded defenceman which is in short supply in the Oilers prospect system. While we don’t know how his game will translate to the North American game, Persson will have another year of development in Sweden’s top league which affords the Oilers plenty of time to continue to assess their player. Given his skill set, Persson is definitely a prospect worth keeping an eye on over the next 12 months.
Position: Defence — Shoots: Right
Born: March 4th, 1994 — City: Kristianstad, Sweden
Height: 5 feet 11 inches — Weight: 170 lbs [180 cm/77 kg]
Youth Team: Osby IK — League: Division 2
Current Team: Vaxjo Lakers, SHL
NEWS AND SCOUTING REPORTS
Jason Gregor wrote about Joel Persson shortly after he was signed back in May:
Persson is a smaller, offensive-minded right shot D-man. A few years ago, he was playing in the ECHL version of Swedish hockey and this past year he played in Sweden’s top league, SHL, and performed quite well, producing 6-28-34 in 51 games. When Vaxjo signed him, he was expected to be a seventh defender, but early in the year he was already quarterbacking their top powerplay and playing a fair amount at even strength.
Will it translate to him becoming an effective NHLer? The odds are low, but it is a low-risk bet by Peter Chiarelli and the Oilers.
Persson put up 35 points playing for the Vaxjo Lakers last season and was immediately told he would remain there for one more year. He’s a right-shot puck-moving defenseman with a terrific shot so it’s probably worth a look even if he is a long shot to succeed on this side of the pond. He was fifth among Lakers d-men last year in time on ice, so even in Sweden he’s being used a specialist. No downside to this signing.
Persson is an offensive defenseman with a great shot from the point. With high-end puck skills and vision, he excels on the power play. Not a speedster, but owns decent mobility and can walk the blueline very well. On the downside, he is smallish and not much of a force in his own end.
He’s a very gifted offensive d-men that was a big revelation during his rookie season in the SHL. Cinderella story. Played in the Swedish equivalent to ECHL until a year ago and worked part-time at a school.
Over at Lowetide’s site, he spoke to former Oilers goalie Mike Zanier about Persson:
He came to camp a number 7 D. Was the QB of the PP by October. Started out more as an offensive player but has developed into a solid D & still QB to the best PP in the SHL. Though Elias Pettersson might have something to do with that, he’s definitely worth looking at (for an NHL team).
At Dobber Prospects, Jameson Ewasiuk looked at Persson’s season and what’s to come for the puck-moving defenceman:
The 24-year-old has had a very quick development curve considering that before last season he played tier three hockey in Sweden. His accomplishments last year were definitely impressive as he was nominated for the SHL rookie of the year and was nominated for the best SHL defenseman award. There are concerns that his play was elevated due to the very good Växjö team, but many accounts from Sweden say that he was every bit as good as the stats make him sound. This campaign Persson will return to Sweden for the year but the Oiler‘s have the option to recall him at any time. The Oilers‘ have the ability to retain his rights after his one-year contract if he proves he wasn‘t a one-hit wonder. It‘s hard to say how his play will translate to the North American style and whether he will be a John Klingberg or more realistically a Philip Larsen/David Rundblad at the NHL level. The Oilers have very few offensive-minded defenders on their team and in their system, so Persson will likely be given every chance to succeed in an offensive role. He‘s a low risk, high reward prospect with boom/bust potential that could be a very savvy draft choice if everything turns out perfectly for him.
VIDEO AND HIGHLIGHTS
As we’ve come to see all summer long, Edmonton Future Watch put together a wonderful compilation of Persson’s highlights from the 2017-18 season:
Persson with an absolute bullet of a goal:
— Champions Hockey League (@championshockey) January 12, 2018
A wonderful, long outlet pass from Persson to move the puck up ice:
Joel Persson hittar Elias Pettersson som flippar vidare till Robert Rosen.
— RoadLaker (@RoadLaker) April 18, 2018
|2009-10||Kristianstads IK J18||J18 Div.2||–||–||–||–||–|
|2010-11||Kristianstads IK J18||J18 Div.1||17||4||6||10||8|
|Kristianstads IK J20||J20 Div.1||20||4||8||12||6|
|2011-12||Kristianstads IK J18||J18 Div.1||8||5||6||11||6|
|Kristianstads IK J20||J20 Div.1||19||6||16||22||–|
|Kristianstads IK||Division 1||17||0||1||1||0||1|
|2012-13||Kristianstad/Osby J18||J18 Div.1||1||0||2||2||0|
|Kristianstad/Osby J20||J20 Div.1||8||9||9||18||16||4||1||5||6||6|
|Kristianstads IK||Division 1||25||0||2||2||2||0|
|Osby IK||Division 2||15||2||7||9||12|
|2013-14||Kristianstads IK||Division 1||10||0||1||1||6||3|
|Osby IK||Division 2||26||3||13||16||18||6||5||11||16||12|
|2014-15||Tyringe SoSS||Division 2||36||11||35||46||4||12||1||8||9||4|
|2015-16||Tyringe SoSS||Division 1||31||6||10||16||10||1|
|2016-17||Kristianstads IK||Division 1||38||10||30||40||6||23||14||2||11||13||4||2|
|2017-18||Växjö Lakers HC||SHL||51||6||28||34||8||17||13||1||4||5||0||6|
|2017-18||Växjö Lakers HC||Champions HL||13||1||10||11||2||4|