No. 8 Viktor Arvidsson (LW/RW)
Birthday: April 8, 1993 (Age 23)
Weight: 180 lbs
NHL Draft: 2014 4th Round, 112th Overall
Nashville Predators (NHL): 56 GP, 8 G, 8 A, 16 P, 35 PIM, -8
Milwaukee Admirals (AHL): 17 GP, 8 G, 10 A, 18 P, 6 PIM, +6
If there is one word to describe Viktor Arvidsson’s game it is erratic, and it can be seen in many facets of his game. He shoots from anywhere, his skating is extremely fast but not very stable, he buzzes around the ice using that speed, and he is like a gnat if the opposing team has the puck nearby; he won’t leave them alone and he’s not afraid to get up close and personal. On the flip side of the coin, his wrist shot is neither overly hard nor particularly accurate, he is not very strong on his skates, and his hockey sense probably could be better.
Through the good and the bad, however, you can’t help but root for the guy. Passed over in several drafts for his size, Arvidsson became a top scorer in the SHL and demanded attention from the NHL based on his play and fantastic work ethic.
The season after being drafted by the Predators, he joined the Milwaukee Admirals, did everything possible to adapt to the North American style of play (like shooting from everywhere and playing physical,) and really thrived. He even got called up to the NHL for six games.
Going into last season, Arvidsson needed to show something special to make the Predators’ roster and he did that and more. Though he didn’t make the team right out of the gate, he went down to Milwaukee and put up over a point a game and 68 shots in his first 14 AHL games. After getting called up to the NHL, however, his success didn’t translate and there were definitely growing pains; something to be expected.
At times, the small Swede looked like a fish out of water and didn’t have the composure to make the plays he should have been making. It got to the point (and this continued into the playoffs) where if the game was close going into the final 10 minutes you didn’t expect to see him again. That really shows the lack of trust the coaching staff had in the young Swede but, once again, that is to be expected out of a first year NHLer.
Despite this, there was significant improvement shown in his play as the season wore on and he even came up with this beauty of a game winning goal to send the Predators to game 7 against San Jose:
Going into the future, Arvidsson needs to continue to improve his play at the NHL level and become a more consistent contributor to all facets of the game. He is an extremely talented offensive player with a great work ethic, but he needs to work on his shot and gain some lower body strength so he isn’t pushed around as much in the offensive zone. If he can do that, those offensive abilities should be able to shine through and he could eventually become a very potent player in the Predators’ top-nine.
2015-2016 Grade: B
NHL Projection: Third-Line Wing