NHL Draft Profile: Alexander Wennberg
The picture above left features Alexander Wennberg, a center currently playing for Djurgarden IF Stovkholm in the Swedish Allvenskan League. Over the past few years, Wennberg has impressed on the international stage with his play in the 2012 IIHF Under-18 World Championships and the 2013 World Junior Championships, helping his team bring home the silver medal in both tournaments.
Wennberg is a shifty player who possess an active stick and alert hockey sense. He can read players to make poke checks and take pucks off opponents’ sticks in the blink of an eye.
Once he takes the puck, good luck catching him. He is definitely one of the better skaters available in the draft with explosive speed and acceleration.
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Wennberg’s skating, when coupled with his excellent puck handling skills, makes him extremely difficult for opponents to shut down and defend one-on-one. He’s excellent at changing direction, stopping and starting on a moment’s notice.
As more of a playmaker than goal scorer, Wennberg’s vision and hockey sense lead to near flawless execution and smart plays in every zone. He is not afraid to battle at the top of the crease or along the boards to make a big play which leads to great opportunities for his teammates.
When he does score, his goals have come off rebounds, tip-ins and redirections rather than snipes. However, he doesn’t shoot from a distance often because though accurate, his shot lacks the quick release and power needed to get past elite goaltenders.
On the defensive side of the puck, Wennberg is strong on the backcheck and his vision allows him to interfere with the opposition’s passing lanes, pushing players to the outside and neutralizing offense -- basically, he knows where to be and when to be there.
If drafted by the Blue Jackets, it is expected that he will need a transition period to adjust from Olympic-sized rinks to the smaller NHL rink. After this transition, he could easily fit in as a third line center and excel on the penalty killing unit.
Wennberg has the potential to develop into a top six center with two way capabilities, and one who can be utilized in all situations.
Season GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2012-13 46 14 18 32 10 14