With the 6th pick in the 2018 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, the Red Wings take defenseman Adam Boqvist out of the SHL.
As expected, we had our pick at a few players that would have been a great fit for the Wings — Evan Bouchard, Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi were all available when we were on the clock. The Senators ended up taking Quinn Hughes at no. 4. Still, the decision to take Boqvist at 6 came down to what we see as a gut feeling over pure, raw skill.
Bouchard and Wahlstrom are both easy top-10 picks, and I’m sure many will argue that they should have gotten a look before Boqvist, but the 17-year-old Swedish rearguard has consistently sat at the top of my list all year-long. Here’s how scouting services rank Adam Boqvist:
NHL CSS - 2 (EURO)
Future Considerations - 7
ISS Hockey - 9
McKeen’s - 8
Craig Button (TSN) - 12
Bob McKenzie (TSN) - 6
My lock pick has been Quinn Hughes for some time, but since the NCAA season ended and I began to watch more highlights, I’ve really warmed up to Boqvist’s talent. He’s the shifty, offensively-creative defenseman that could turn out to be a stud in the NHL.
For me, one of Boqvist’s most underrated qualities is his shot. I’m confident in saying that he might have one of the best shots among all defensemen in this draft. Not only that, he picks the right time to shoot. His shifty, agile feet help him dance around across the blue-line to create space. When you mix that in with his shooting skill, you could have something really special.
Not only does Adam Boqvist have shift skating skills, he’s got explosive power. His numbers at the combine for the Wingate Cycle Ergometer Test were among some of the best. The Wingate Test measures the anaerobic power of the lower body. Boqvist ranked #2 for mean power output, and tied for #2 for peak power. Combine numbers should always be taken with a grain of salt, but his athletic ability should not be.
Boqvist has been called a natural QB for a PP squad, and his ability shows it. While he’s not the biggest defenseman in his class, he’s making up for it with raw talent and athletic ability. When you add in an NHL organization’s guidance, development, and training — the ceiling is sky-high.
To be honest, I didn’t discuss the pick with anyone at WIIM. I just went ahead and made it.. That’s because I know it’s hard to say no to a player like Boqvist. He’s spent a lot of time on international ice, but that shouldn’t be a concern. If the Red Wings draft him, they should accept him for what he is — a wild stallion. With proper development, he’s only going to get better. He’s drawn comparisons to Erik Karlsson for a reason.
Who would you have taken at 6th overall?
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