Edmonton Oilers Prospect Countdown #20: Carl Berglund

Bruce Curlock
9 months ago
Carl Berglund starts off the countdown of Edmonton Oilers prospects at #20.
Berglund is likely to be a template for how the Oilers will fill their prospect pool in the coming years. He was an overage collegiate free agent before signing with the Oilers in March 2023. Given the lack of draft picks and the fact most of these picks will be lower down, the Oilers will have opportunities to sign players that do not get drafted.
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Nationality: Sweden
Date of Birth: January 16, 2000
Drafted: UFA Signing, March 22, 2023
Height: 6’2″ / 188 cm
Weight: 195lbs / 88 kg
Ranking last year: N/A
Berglund, a 6’2″ center, was a product of the Swedish junior leagues before coming to the USHL as an 18-year-old. He went on to play four seasons of NCAA hockey with UMass-Lowell in the Hockey East conference. Berglund registered 36-53—89 in 114 regular season games with the River Hawks over his four-year career. He played six games with the Bakersfield Condors at the end of this past season failing to register a point.
What Berglund brings to the table more than anything is a strong defensive game. He has a tremendous hockey sense for the defensive side of the game in all three zones. Here is the clip that illustrates Berglund’s game.

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Berglund is never on the wrong side of the puck in any season. He even cheats to play defence while in the offensive zone.
This will certainly serve him well in an organization that lacks defence-focused forward prospects. Especially at the center position, which is an area of weakness for the Oilers.
There are two reasons, however, why Berglund is not higher ranked despite being a defensively conscious center in an organization that lacks center depth. The first is his skating.
At the collegiate level, Berglund was able to maintain the pace because it is a slower league than the pros. When he was challenged by pace, he was able to use his size to win small-area battles. However, his six games in Bakersfield showed Berglund’s pace is not adequate for the professional game. Here is another good 200-foot shift by Berglund, but now at the professional level. Tactically, he is very sound here, but compares his pace to those around him. He will need to improve his small-area quickness to ensure that he is competitive in transitions and battle sequences.

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The other element of Berglund’s game that requires improvement is his offensive skills. While Hockey East is a strong NCAA conference, for a prospect to have a serious chance at NHL time, he cannot score at .78 points per game pace. As the Oilers fans of recent years can attest, not having scoring from the bottom six is fatal to the success of the team.
For this season, Berglund will have a chance to play a significant role in Bakersfield. The center depth is not great, so a good training camp performance will give him a chance at meaningful minutes. With that time, Berglund will need to show an improved offensive game with skating enhancements to move up the prospect depth chart.
In order to qualify for this prospect countdown, a player must be under the age of 25 at the start of the season and have played less than 50 NHL games.

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