The Vancouver Canucks selected Nils Hoglander 40th overall on the second day of the NHL draft. While there are many draft prospects that can blossom into elite studs down the road, my money is on Hoglander being the best value pick of this year’s draft class.
Hoglander has been a player I’d been dreaming about the Vancouver Canucks selecting. It’s not just because we share very similar names, but I figured he would go mid to late in the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Who Is Nils Hoglander?
He possesses blistering speed, some of the best hands of his draft class, a remarkable fitness level and rigorous work ethic. Despite his size, the slippery Swedish forward plays a gritty, physical game and has a highlight reel of big hits. Hoglander is also capable defensively and does not have any real gap in his game other than his height. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many draft prospects get a lot of criticism for height reasons including Hoglander and Cole Caufield, but the Swedish forward is a remarkable talent. At 5’9 and 185 pounds, Hoglander might be considered undersized by current NHL standards, but his work ethic and competitiveness make his size seem like a non-issue.
Hoglander played in the SHL as a U18 player, which is a very rare feat. To top that, Hoglander posted a better points per game average last season than Toronto Maple Leafs star William Nylander (when he played in the SHL). I truly believe that Hoglander has the capacity to become a legitimate top line winger and he’ll have a ton of great talent alongside him in Vancouver to help accelerate his production.
Not only does Hoglander present top line upside, but his good defensive and physical attributes guarantee him being at least a solid top 9 forward. I could see Hoglander’s point production being anywhere between 30 and 70 points per year, but that is depending on his line-mates and ice time.
Potentially One Of The Biggest Steals Of The Draft
I think this is absolutely outstanding value for 40th overall, and potentially one of the steals of the draft. While we’ll have to wait a few years till Hoglander is ready to come to Vancouver, Canucks fans should be very excited as Hoglander is a special player and will be an asset.
stats from eliteprospects.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals