PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 23: Pontus Aberg, 37th overall pick by the Nashville Predators, speaks to Predators General Manager David Poile during day two of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 23, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
With the 37th pick in this year's draft (acquired from Tampa Bay for Anders Lindback), the Nashville Predators have selected Pontus Aberg from Djugarden in Sweden. Ranked as high as the ninth best skater in the draft by Central Scouting, it appears the Preds have made quite the steal. A quick blurb on his game from Elite Prospects:
A really speedy player with some high calibre offensive skills. Åberg has good smarts, an accurate shot and passes the puck well too. Competes hard, but has some consistency issues. Good scorer. Great competitiveness.
Scouting report from Pro Hockey Talk: berg already has experience playing with and against men much older than him. He's an enthusiastic player, but he's already ran into some injury problems that has probably caused his stock to drop.
Berg already has experience playing with and against men much older than him. He's an enthusiastic player, but he's already ran into some injury problems that has probably caused his stock to drop.
He looks like a bit more of a long-term project and it's worth noting that, as The Hockey Writers pointed out, he's tied to Djurgarden through the 2013-14 season. Still, he could develop into a top-six forward for the club that ends up drafting him.
More on Aberg later, but we have another pick coming up momentarily.