Draft Candidates: Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
Background & Player Description:
“Member of Sweden’s bronze medal-winning team at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament…played for Sweden at the 2008 Men’s Under-18s…Represented Sweden at the 2008 World Junior Championship in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic…At 16 years and 8 months was the youngest player ever to play for the Swedish national junior team at the tournament.”
“”Magnus perhaps is the stereotype of the skilled Swede coming over here in recent years â€“ outside speed extraordinaire, ability to freeze defenders and make all his good moves work even more effectively. He was a good contributor to his team at the World Junior tournament and I think will be an essential member of any NHL team in years to come. He showed, at the World Junior championships, why the 1980 comparisons to Mats Naslund, Kent Nilsson and more recently a Peter Forsberg will follow him over to his NHL team. Heâ€™ll be a high draft pick and Iâ€™m sure heâ€™s going to be a combination of the kind of offensive flare and skills that have made those other three predecessors great NHL players.”
-Director of Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire
Our Bloggers Say:
Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson is a speedy goal-scorer whose overall game has been at times projected to be reminiscent of Marian Gaborik, or Markus Naslund in his prime.Â Â Although his lack of defensive commitment presents somewhat of a concern, his sky-high potential as a future scoring machine renders him worthy of his top-10 draft ranking.Â Â In the event that the more well-rounded prospects are already off the board when the Maple Leafs are on the clock, I would not be disappointed at all if Brian Burke were to select the highly-skilled Swede.
Despite seeing limited ice time on a Timra side that only just made the Elitserien playoffs Paajarvi-Svensson made good with 17 points in 50 games in a league arguably superior to the AHL. Improving to 7 points in 6 games at the WJC, the Norrkoping resident demonstrated superb acceleration against the boards while appearing confident cutting inside. Has proved fearless when going to the net and while the NHLâ€™s smaller ice surfaces may limit the effectiveness of his outside speed, his ability to dig into dirty zones and his soft hands will prove a boon. How quickly he can adjust to the intensity of North American hockey will be crucial to his short term value.
-Richard Steven Williams
Excellent mix of speed and skill, playing a robust, physical game .. hard work ethic and tenacity along the boards make him as slippery as they come .. my main concern is a lack of definitive proof of finishing skills in an elite league like the NHL .. excellent prospect.
Draft at #7 — No.
Love the speed and high end skill. Has all the physical tools to be an elite player at the NHL level. Fantastic offensive potential, can create scoring chances out of dead plays. He is a very noticeable player on the ice, so tough to take off the puck. I think the “lack of finish” is a little bit overblown, because much of this sentiment has been based off his play at the WJC, where I feel those were some very tough scoring chances that most other players would not have even been able to create in the first place.
Draft at #7 – Maybe, #2 behind only Kulikov (assuming the obvious six are off the board).
I fully appreciate the raw talent that is Paajarvi-Svensson and I’m not of the persuasion that the apparent lack of finishing prowess at the WJCs, or his middling numbers this season for Timra, are legitimate causes for concern going forward. This is after all a 17-year-old kid playing in a league generally considered to be on par with the AHL if not more competitive, getting ten minutes of ice-time with sparse powerplay opportunity. He was a clear stand out at the WJCs, displaying mind-blowing speed and wizardry on the puck. With some filling out of his frame, he’ll have all the physical tools to compete and employ his game at the highest level. My problem lies in the fact that I don’t think drafting MPS meets the Leafs’ most pressing need. Brian Burke is clearly envisioning an Anaheim Ducks-like roster and system as the ultimate goal of this re-build. Few will dispute that the Ducks could not have experienced such success without Ryan Getzlaf at the heart of their line-up. The Leafs need this type of total package player up front – someone that can be built around as opposed to the type of player that simply supplies the finishing touch. I don’t see enough value in MPS as a complete player to consider him a potential franchise cornerstone. It’s also interesting consider the fact that it’s rare to see a Ryan Getzlaf or Mike Richards available on the unrestricted free agency market – they tend to be reasonably priced and highly-coveted by their franchises. I think Burke may be thinking along the same wavelength after talking to a source recently and hearing that Burke’s been vying to swap draft spots with the Thrashers in hopes of grabbing Brayden Schenn or Evander Kane, both of whom would meet the cornerstone criteria discussed above in my opinion. That all said, if Burke has to ultimately play the hand he’s been dealt in terms of his draft position,Â I can’t say I’d be too disappointed to see MPS donning the Leaf cap and sweater this Friday.