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European Skaters: 6-10

Thursday, 16.06.2011 / 6:06 PM / Home for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft
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European Skaters: 6-10
6 Oscar Klefbom, D, Farjestad (SWE)

Born: July 20, 1993

Born In: Karlstad, SWE

Shoots: Left

GP: 23   G: 1   A: 1   P: 2   PIM: 2
LOWDOWN: At 6'3 and 201 lbs, many would guess Klefbom's size might hinder his skating ability but that isn't the case. He has a great first step which allows him to pick up speed rapidly. In addition to his quickness, Klefbom's defensive game is sound. He's far from a liability in his own end and uses his size to muscle opponents off the puck.

WHAT HE SAYS: "I have the size so I use my size but I think I'm a two-way defenceman as well. I'm a little bit bigger and use my size a little bit more. That's natural ... It's smaller ice and you get more battles. I think I have good range and a good body to play in the NHL." - to the Bruins 2011 Draft Watch on his strengths and how his game can translate to a North American rink

7 Miikka Salomaki, RW, Karpat (FIN)

Born: March 9, 1993

Born In: Raahe, FIN

Shoots: Left

GP: 40   G: 4   A: 6   P: 10   PIM: 53
LOWDOWN: Salomaki may be undersized at 5'11 but he hasn't let his stature diminish his determination. Grit and hard work have helped him make a name for himself in Finland's top men's league. His offensive numbers from last season won't dazzle anyone but his dedication and compete level give him a good shot at making it in the NHL in the future.

WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Miikka is strong as a bull in one-on-one situations. He's a 100-percent team player. Whoever drafts him will get a very useful two-way player whose overall skill level is surprisingly high." - NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb to NHL.com

8 Joachim Nermark, C, Linkoping (SWE-JR)

Born: May 12, 1993

Born In: Sunne, SWE

Shoots: Left

GP: 37   G: 8   A: 18   P: 26   PIM: 16
LOWDOWN: Consistency is something this pivot will have to work at but once he's able to find some stability in his game, he could be a top-nine player. At his best, Nermark skates well, has a quick release and is willing to compete down low. When he's not playing at this level, he's invisible. 

WHAT HE SAYS: "I'm a good skater and a skilled player. People who know me says that I still play well when I'm not on my game. I'm a hard worker that truly wants to win. I like a high-paced style of play and playing with smart hockey players." - to The Copper & Blue regarding his style of play

9 Markus Granlund, C, HIFK (FIN-JR)

Born: April 16, 1993

Born In: Oulu, FIN

Shoots: Left

GP: 40   G: 20   A: 32   P: 52   PM: 49
LOWDOWN: While his skill set may not be at the level brother Mikael's is at, Grandlund is a great play-maker and sees the ice very well. These assets led him to a great season with HIFK, averaging 1.3 points per game. He's exceptional when running the power play and once he's able to work on his strength, he'll be an asset to any NHL team.

WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "He is just outstanding with his understanding of the game and smart, cool passes. Even if he was two years younger than most players in the Finnish junior league, he was the third-best scorer, and by far the most important player on the team." - NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb to NHL.com

10 Rasmus Bengtsson, D, Rogle (SWE-2)

Born: May 14, 1993

Born In: Landskrona, SWE

Shoots: Left

GP: 45   G: 2   A: 7   P: 9   PIM: 6
LOWDOWN: Like his European counterpart Dmitrij Jaskin, Bengtsson has keen offensive instincts but doesn't have the legs to elevate his game to the next level. His first step is sluggish and he can't keep up with better skaters. However, if he's able to modify his skating style and gain more speed, he'll be on par with many of the top ranked skaters.

WHAT HE SAYS: "I want to get better at everything but mostly my speed game and my aggressive game." - to The Hockey News on what aspects of his game he felt he needed to work on

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