As has become an annual tradition, the best defenseman coming out of Sweden must be compared at some level to Nicklas Lidstrom. Perhaps the most telling compliment to Adam Larsson’s versatility is that International Scouting Services has him listed as one of their best offensive defenseman and one of the best shutdown defenseman. People can talk about his powerful skating or his skating, but it’s his poise that separates him from any other blueliner in the 2011 class. He has the uncanny knack for slowing the game down—something that hard to do at any age, let alone as an 18-year-old in the Swedish Elite League.
His poise certainly makes it easy to draw similarities to Lidstrom; but a better comparison would be another Swede: Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman. Whoever drafts him in the first hour of the draft will have a prospect who will be the cornerstone of their defensive corps for the next ten years.
Weight: 200 lbs
Team: Skelleftea HC (SEL)
- 2009-10: 4 goals and 13 assists (17 points) in 49 games
- 2010-11: 1 goal and 8 assists (9 points) in 37 games
|NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING
||#1 SKATER (EUROPE)
|INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING SERVICES
|THE HOCKEY NEWS
From NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
“Adam is one of the best skater’s in this year’s draft — he has excellent speed and mobility. He also has patient puck handling abilities and can surprise an opponent with a solid hit. His size and skating ability make him comparable with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.”
From International Scouting Services:
“A very good skater, Larsson is poised in every situation on the ice and calculates his decisions with precision and quickness. His panic threshold is off the charts and his demeanour rarely changes. He can chip in offensively by leading the rush, springing teammates with stretch passes or finding a hole from the point with his good shot.”
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
—Martin Jones is a calming presence in the Sharks’ net. (Sports Illustrated)
–The Rangers should go after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. (The Hockey News)
–Some people have pretty wild hockey tattoos. (BarDown)
–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)
–A great piece on how Bruce Boudreau impacted the Ducks and Capitals. (Sportsnet)
–It should be an interesting off-season for the Anaheim Ducks. (Daily Breeze)
—Adam Henrique is a funny guy. He took to Twitter to try and get himself on the cover of NHL 17:
Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.
(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)
You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.
Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.
Letang told his side of the story:
The Capitals disagree:
While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:
No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.
If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.
The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.
(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)
Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.
A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.
First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.
Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.
Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.
In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.
This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.
It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.
(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)
There are a few things we do know already.
For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.
Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.
In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.
There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.