2011 NHL Draft Prospects: Adam Larsson, Fellow Swedes Lead European Contingent
The 2011 NHL Draft is unique in several regards. One of the most outstanding features of this particular draft is the number of high quality Swedish players that are leading the way out of Europe.
While there are several high risk, high reward Russians that could go in the bottom of the first round, as well as a Finnish player sprinkled throughout, Sweden really carries the banner for those across the pond.
Adam Larsson could very well end up being drafted in the top three, and with good reason. It isn't every draft that a near-can-not-miss cornerstone defensive prospect pops up. That is exactly what Larsson is.
He is the total package blueliner, with great size and ability at both ends of the ice.
While he is the shoo-in top European skater, that doesn't mean there aren't several other eye catching players available. Fellow Swedish defensemen Oscar Klefbom and Jonas Brodin are both steady blueliners that could make teams drafting later on in the first draft very happy.
While Klefbom and Brodin are missing the high end offensive acumen that would push them up the draft board, they are still solid in their own end, and teams looking to add a rock on the backend could go with one of these two players.
Mika Zibanejad should interest several teams, and end up going in the top ten as a power forward playing at center—something that is somewhat of a rarity in the NHL. The guy plays with a lot of passion, and is one of the most complete players available.
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