Top 25 Under 25: #22 Albert Johansson
Our first on the T25U25 list from this years draft is a Swedish defenseman that has gotten better year after year.
Who is Albert Johansson?
Height/Weight: 6’0” / 168 lbs
Birthday: January 4, 2001 (18 years old)
Birthplace: Karlstad, SWE
Draft: 2019 2nd round (#60 overall)
What do we like about him?
Johansson’s case was an interesting one heading into the draft as he was considered a low round pick until this past season caught the eyes of scouts. His skating and puck moving ability are his best qualities, which is always nice to hear for a blue liner. He can skate a 200 foot game (hey, Blash), out of his own end and even bring it deep in to the zone on offensive rushes. It’s not just his skating abilities that stands out, but also his agility and speed. He is commended for his ability to play on his edges and to avoid clogged lanes, which make him a perfect quarterback on power plays and attacks through the neutral zone. Johansson has a very high ceiling, that seemingly gets higher every year, and the Red Wings hope to see him continue to improve.
What needs work?
The consistency of his decision making is a big question mark, as he is known to play either very conservatively or questionably aggressive. Whether it’s lazy cross ice passes or just trying to deke through three defenders at once, Johansson is all over the place with the puck. On top of that is he is undersized, which allows for him to be pushed around at times despite having a craving for contact. His size will obviously change over time, especially once he gets into pro hockey weight rooms, but his decision making is really going to have to improve for the 18-year-old Swede to have a long tenure in the NHL.
What’s next for him?
Johnasson is the son of former NHLer Roger Johansson and has spent his entire hockey career in Sweden thus far. He most likely will stay in Sweden for another year and, as of now, the Red Wings have no plans to sign him yet and burn a year on his ELC. However, he is expected to see a substantial amount of time in the SHL this year, and that will be a big tell as to where Johansson’s game is at. He should get a chance at the World Juniors in December for Team Sweden as well. Outside of Seider, Johansson is the prospect in this years class that everyone should keep a real eye on. If the positive development continues, there is no telling as to how good Johansson could be for the Red Wings.