With the second to last pick in the entire 2009 NHL Entry Draft (and Detroit's last selection), the Detroit Red Wings tabbed Adam Almqvist with the 210th pick. Finally -- a Swede! He had eight goals and 28 assists in 41 games with Hv 71 Jr. (a Swedish junior league).
Born: February 27, 1991 (Jonkoping, Sweden)
Position: Defenseman (shoots left)
Size: 5-10, 169 pounds
Nill joked that in the final round they had to let Hakan Andersson, director of European scouting, take a Swede.
Almqvist, 5-foot-10, 169-pounds, is definitely a long-term project. He hasn’t yet played in the men’s league in Sweden.“He’s very immature physically,” Nill said. “He’s small and weak. But he’s got good hockey sense. He’s gotta work on his skating. We’ll see if he develops physically.”
A really offensively skilled defenseman. Almquist has top-notch hockey sense and passing ability. Has the ability to turn the game quickly with long and distinct passes. Puts up a lot of points from the blueline, where his set-up ability comes in handy.
On the downside, Almquist needs to improve his skating skills and even more so his strength and fill out his frame. Although being undersized, he likes to play the body at times, but his game would really be much better with improved size and strength.
STRENGTHS: Those who have seen him marvel at his hockey sense. He’s a great offensive defenseman and quarterbacks the powerplay with a pretty hard shot and a keen passing ability. He boasts an excellent breakout pass, and the nationality to do well in Detroit.
WEAKNESSES: Not an elite level skater like other small defensemen. When I first looked at his profile on EliteProspects he was listed at 148 pounds which is downright tiny. Apparently this is because he hasn’t weighed in since the beginning of the season because he was not on the international team, but his weight has since been changed to 165, consistent with the 169 he’s listed at by the NHL.
FUTURE: He’s apparently going to get a good look at the SEL, which would be tremendous for a player selected at his position. Something like that might get him back on the radar of the national team.