Position: Right Winger/Center
Born: 08/13/94, Ostervala, Sweden
NHL Central Scouting Rank: #1 European Skater
Player Pages: NHL – EP – HF
The Capitals’ first pick in the NHL draft at 11th overall, Forsberg is a smart, conscientious hockey player who is solid in all three zones. He is creative in the offensive zone, but it is his physical frame and mental make-up that make him such a great prospect. He will be able to adapt to any system and have the size and strength to make his presence felt. He was the drive and skill to be a scorer, but it may take time for him to develop the confidence to try to do more in the offensive zone against tougher competition.
After a dazzling performance in international play over the summer and big numbers in juniors in 2010-11, Forsberg stepped up to play in the second men’s division in Sweden, the Allsvenskan. While playing against grown men, Forsberg put up only 8 goals and 17 points, in 43 games, but his offensive play was somewhat reserved compared to his abilities. Forsberg also put up just one assist in 6 World Junior games, but it was excellent experience as one of the younger players in the tournament. He broke out again in the spring as captain of the silver medal-winning Swedish team with 5 goals and 7 points in 6 games, displaying the skill and confidence scouts had been waiting for all season long.
Forsberg projects to be a solid two-way forward who could play on any line. He is the safest forward pick in the draft as he will almost certainly play in the NHL and be able to play in any situation. If his offensive abilities blossom sooner rather than later, he will almost certainly be a top-line forward in the NHL.
Plans for next season:
Forsberg has already stated he’ll be playing in Sweden another season, which is what will happen. He may come over to North America after next season, but if he has not advanced beyond the Allsvenskan by next season he may not be ready for the NHL. It is likely he’ll spend another year in Sweden in the Elitserien or will come over to the AHL for a year before stepping up to the NHL. At soonest, he could play in the NHL by 2013-14, but it is more likely he’ll be an NHL regular in 2014-15.