Leading up to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Alexander Wennberg (C)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 174 Shoots: Left
Team: Djurgardens IF Stockholm (Swe-1)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 5 among European skaters
What kind of player is he?
Wennberg is a two-way center that’s a bit of a long-term project. He plans to stay in Sweden for at least the 2013-14 and fill out his frame in the process, based on his Draft Combine interview.
He’s a smart and determined player on the ice with plenty of offensive upside. He’s the type of guy that could end up scoring goals in a lot of different ways and also set up others when the situation calls for it. He marries that with sound defensive play. Once he completes his goal of getting stronger and gets some NHL experience, he could serve as a nice addition to any team.
“Wennberg is a very smooth skating, efficient Swede. He plays the game well at both ends of the ice and has a great deal of hockey sense. He is more prone to setting up goals, yet one should not underestimate his ability to score.” — Trent Klatt, Islanders Player Development (via the Islanders’ website)
For more 2013 NHL Draft Previews, click here.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.