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2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Sebastian Collberg

Sebastian Collberg, RW
Birthplace: Mariestad, Sweden, 2/23/94
Bio: 5’11, 175 lbs., R
Frölunda HC, Elitserien
Rankings: ISS – 13; CSS – 3 (EU)

The Skinny: Extremely skilled with a sniper’s disposition, Sebastian Collberg is one of the more electric offensive talents in 2012, but will he have the size and strength to score in the NHL?

Sebastian Collberg has skills commensurate with the expectations that come with being the second-ranked European in Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings. He possesses an elite shot (some have argued the most accurate shot of the 2012 eligibles), great elusiveness and excellent creativity.

Extremely agile, Collberg can knife through defenders with aggressive moves to get off dangerous shots. He’s a tenacious battler but still primarily a perimeter player: Setting up along the half-wall to create opportunities for himself and teammates. His playmaking is above-average but don’t be confused – he’s a sniper at heart.

Collberg’s offensive game is very advanced. He’s played in the Swedish Elite League for most of 2011-12, and while he hasn’t been productive, much of that can be attributed to minimal ice time. He had a very strong tournament in the 2012 World Junior’s in Alberta, grabbing 4-3-7 totals in six games and adding two shootout goals including one that helped clinch a spot in the finals. Collberg displayed excellent offensive instincts and elite skating game throughout the tourney.

His size prevents him from being a physical presence, Collberg works hard in traffic fighting to win the puck along the wall and rarely deterred from forays toward the ‘dirty’ areas of the ice.

While his grit is commendable, it’s difficult to tell how the youngster will fare against the big and heavy-hitting competition at the top North American level. Even if one sees his game translating well, he’ll have to add significant strength to avoid being pushed around. Like many young players, his defensive game is still very much a work in progress and will need significant refining.

The fact that he didn’t scored a point in 41 games in the Elitserien with Frölunda is somewhat troubling and his chance at top status has likely gone out of the window as a result. Still, when considering how thin the 2012 forward crop is (particularly when it comes to high-end skills), Collberg has excellent upside and should be snatched up in the first half of the first round.

Ideal Fits: Teams in looking for a long-term solution as a sniping wingerCarolina, Winnipeg, Calgary, Ottawa, Dallas

Why Your Team Will Take Him: Because the forward crop is slim and Collberg is as good as it gets in terms of upside in the 10-15 range.

Why Your Team Will Pass on Him: Because he’s a long way from NHL-ready and his size and strength don’t project well even when he is; because teams in the top-ten would probably be better off taking one of the many projectable defensemen.

Strengths: Shooting, Agility, Skating Game, Tenacity, Offensive Acumen, Creativity, Playmaking

Weaknesses/Concerns: Size, Strength, Defensive Game

Projection: First-Line Scoring Winger (30g, 70p potential)

Predicted 2012 NHL Draft Range: First Round (8-17)

Overall Rank: 15

Euro Rank: 3

Sweden Rank: 2

Forward Rank: 8

Swedish National Rank: 2

Bob is the Boston Bruins correspondent for The Hockey Writers and a credentialed member of the Providence Bruins' Media.

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