All week leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Pontus Aberg (LW)
Height: 5’11 Weight: 194 Shoots: Right
Team: Djurgarden (SEL)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 6 among European skaters
What kind of player is he?
Aberg 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.
He ended up with eight goals and 15 points in 47 games in his rookie season in the Swedish Elite League. However, his club, Djurgarden, has been relegated to the second tier of Swedish teams for the 2012-13 campaign.
“Started the year with vengeance as he was the first player to be nominated for the Elitserien rookie-of-the-year award however a series of injuries took their toll on him and derailed his season. Aberg is a fearless competitor who willingly hurls his under-sized body at players regardless of size. He compliments his competitive streak with a set of nimble hands and a sizzling shot. He is more shifty than he is fast and he will need to address his acceleration moving forward. Aberg would also benefit from being more selective in his physical confrontations for self preservation purposes.” — David Burstyn, McKeen’s Hockey
More draft profiles:
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?