Whalers Select Two Swedish Defenseman in CHL Import Draft
Photo courtesy of the Getty Images and the Dallas Stars...
PLYMOUTH - The Plymouth Whalers two defensemen from Sweden in today's 2012 Canadian Hockey league Import Draft, held online throughout the Canadian Hockey League.
Plymouth Whalers general manager and head coach Mike Vellucci selected Swedish defenseman Ludvig Bystrom with the Whalers' first pick (21st overall) in today's Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, held online throughout the Canadian Hockey League.
Later in the draft, Vellucci moved up in a trade to take 18-year-old defenseman Simon Karlsson with the 90th pick. Karlsson was selected by Nashville in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Bystrom - a 6-foot-1, 195 pound defenseman - was taken by the Dallas Stars in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Bystrom, who turns 18-years-old in July, was ranked eighth overall among European prospects by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau for the NHL Entry Draft.
Bystrom grew up in Omskoldsvik, Sweden and has played the majority of his career for MODO.
There's plenty written about him:
First, from the Hockey Writers.com:
The system of MODO Örnsköldsvik has provided the NHL with significant talent in recent memory, including Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Markus Näslund, Peter Forsberg, Alexander Steen and Victor Hedman. Additionally, it has provided the likes of Anders Eriksson, Tommy Salo and Anders Kallur, the latter being the first Swedish player to ever win the Stanley Cup.
In 2012, defenceman Ludvig Byström can join that list.
Here's more from International Scouting Services:
Another in the seemingly endless line of high caliber Swedish rearguards. Bystrom has talent in all three zones of the ice. He is a strong mobile skater who reads the play quickly and reacts effectively. He distributes the puck well, including a great first pass, but can also carry the puck into space on his own as well. Defensively, he plays an intelligent and calculated physical brand of hockey and can dominate the middle lanes, making him very difficult to win quality space against. His most impressive skill is his ability to execute plays under duress. He already has professional experience and is capable of playing big time minutes against high quality opponents. He still has a lot of room to add power. Needs to continue working on his defensive-zone coverage. NHL Potential: 2-4 defensive pairing with PP time.
From the NHL Black Book:
Ludvig shows two-way potential but is more geared towards the defensive game. He has good positioning
and can usually identify plays fairly quickly. When a defensive partner goes out of position or he notices a hole in the coverage he does a good job of covering it up quickly. Bystrom battles hard down low and is able to win the puck more times than not.Offensively, Ludvig quietly shows good puck rushing ability and can take it deep into the offensive zone.However this can sometimes be where he gets caught as he overcommits to offensive play on the occasions when he does rush it in and forget about getting back into position. Bystrom has shown much inconsistency in our viewings.
He'll put together a series of great shifts, but then will make mistakes unbecoming of the prospect we saw mere minutes ago. Ludvig is very likely to be one of the first Swedish defensemen drafted in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and will likely take a few years to develop into his potential.
Karlsson played last season for Malmo of the Swedish Elite League and - according to Eliteprospects.com - is "a very smart defenseman with good hockey sense and solid puck skills. Contributes both ways. Decent mobility."