Diminutive Swedish defenseman could be a true diamond in the rough, according to Red Wings GM Mathias Lundgren after the Entry Draft.
Going into the BEARD Hockey Entry Draft, Detroit’s GM Mathias Lundgren was unhopeful to supplement his prospects depth. With just fourth and fifth round picks (#100 and #157, to be exact), Lundgren, who is known to use picks as trade commodities, felt that 2020 was a rather thin draft class.
Lundgren had his eyes on a few names, but felt those should have been picked way earlier than at #100. To his surprise, a name was still around for the taking as the Detroit Red Wings announced their pick, the steal of the BEARD Entry Draft.
Defence — shoots Left
Born March 26th, 2002 — Gnosjo, Sweden
Height 5’9″ — Weight 154 lbs [175 cm/70 kg]
Offensive Game: A
Defensive Game: B-
So why is it that Lundgren would consider Johannesson the "steal of the year" and how was it possible that he was around for the taking at #100? When asked about it, Lundgren response was:
"First of all, I want to say that we are very happy to get Anton to join our organization. He has a large future upside to become a strong top-pairing offensive defender, quarterbacking our blueline on the power play.
The reason why Anton still was around as our moment to pick came is simple: he has been struggling with injuries over the past two seasons with the Swedish SHL club HV71’s youth team. That tends to make most GM’s uncertain."
He takes a small breath and a sip from his dark-roasted cup of coffee before he continues.
"We see the ability Anton possesses and what he can develop into if he stays healthy. He has amazing skating skills, going just as fast backward as he blitzes up towards the offensive blueline with the forwards. He has a great sense for the offensive puck-moving aspect of the game and my scouts are comparing him to Ryan Ellis in the sense of playing style."
When asked about any special flaws seen within Anton, Lundgren responded:
"Anton would need to work on his defensive side of the game, although he can skate along with the best of them. He tends to sometime get puck-locked and lose sight of the player. That is something he needs to work on.
Also, he has a rather small frame. He needs bulk up to become the quarterback we are hoping he will become."
So there you have it; the steal of BEARD Hockey Entry Draft is, according to Lundgren, his fellow Swede, Anton Johannesson.