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Detroit Red Wings Top 25 Under 25: Christoffer Ehn

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The lesser heralded Swedish center may be shaping into an NHL prospect. Or maybe not.

Russia v Sweden - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 181 lbs

Drafted: 2014, 4th Round, 106th Overall, Detroit Red Wings

Date of Birth: April 5th, 1996 in Skara, Sweden (20 years old)

Christoffer Ehn is our less punny prospect with a three letter name. There was some initial excitement about Ehn when he was drafted in the 4th round in 2014. Was he to be another Hakan Andersson special? The initial buzz died down as Ehn was obscured by flashier players in North America like Larkin and Mantha, as well as the intrigue around fellow Swede Axel Holmstrom. Since then, he’s hung on the fringes of the radar as a playmaker, and serves as a prospect curiosity. Maybe he can be a great third line center for Detroit. On the other hand, he may develop into the next Joakim Andersson.

Part of the difficulty determining Ehn’s trajectory is his usage overseas in the SHL (Sweden’s top league.) He has served as a captain on Frölunda’s J20 squad for the past two seasons and put up impressive numbers with them in both outings (36 points in 40 games for 2014-15, and 16 points in 14 games this past year.) Both outings have earned him call-ups to Frölunda proper, but once he got there he received the Tomas Jurco treatment. With the big club, Christoffer Ehn has primarily been deployed as a defensive fourth line center with limited minutes. In a combined 43 games with Frölunda HC he has put up a whopping 2 points in 43 games (but was only a -4 if you put stock in plus/minus.) He was then loaned to BIK Karlskoga in Sweden’s second most prominent league, and put up a much better stat sheet, with 5 points in 13 games. However, there is certainly something to be said for hanging with Sweden’s best

Build-wise, Ehn is lanky at 6’3” and only 181 pounds on his frame and is said to have great reach. A lot of knee jerk reactions will be to insist Ehn needs to put on weight, but it is perfectly within the realm of possibility for him to easily put on another 10 pounds. At 20 he still has some developing to do, which runs counter-intuitive to some fans, but the human body peaks physiologically much later than the early 20’s. He’s going to be okay. Much more concerning is his development as a player through deployment. Is he being used properly in his Luke Glendening-esque role? I would argue no, he’s absolutely not. Frölunda is a premier organization in the SHL with a great culture, but that depth and winning culture may be hindering his growth as he remains buried on their depth chart. A trade would likely be in his best interest. Regardless, he is a highly probable candidate to be brought over to the Griffins after the Swedish hockey season’s end.

Here’s a great video, courtesy of our own Michelle, that shows off all the great things about Ehn: his reach, his ability to protect the puck, his passing and playmaking, even his positioning. Also, his stamina is impressive, as he turns the burners on twice in a single shift to lug the puck.

So, lend us some thoughts. Does this kid have the tool set to get it done eventually in the NHL, or is he going to be another minor leaguer who returns to Sweden in a handful of years?