Yesterday the Leafs announced the signing of 2010 fourth round draft selection Petter Granberg, a 19-year-old Swedish defenceman plying his trade with Skelleftea HC of the Swedish Elite League, to a three-year entry level contract.
Our own Nikhil Daljeet wrote about Granberg for the 2010-11 Maple Leafs Annual, with quotes from Director of Amateur Scouting Dave Morrison in an interview shortly after the June 2010 Entry Draft.
Opting for their only defenceman of the draft, Toronto moved down to take Granberg (trading their 112th to Washington for the 116th and the 146th) after the Red Wings shot back at the Leafs by picking the coveted Teemu Pulkkinen at 111th overall.Â Leafs brass moved away from players with tantalizing offensive upside, dipping again into the European pool to grab the shutdown blueliner.Â Petter is the prototypical stay at home defenceman in that he possesses strong decision making skills and perceptive positioning.Â While his focus is consistently on securing his own zone, Granberg does possess a good first pass in his arsenal that allows him to chip in offensively from time to time.
Granberg is likely to continue his progression in the Swedish Elite League next season. His ceiling is that of a dependable blueliner in the mould of a Douglas Murray.Â It is in these lower rounds of the draft that the grunt work of the scouting team is truly evident, as they must identify a very abstract notion in â€œpotentialâ€ and carefully consider all factors that could impact a playerâ€™s progress.Â With respect to Granberg, Morrison noted that â€œhe’s got experience on the international stage, at the World under 18’s. He’s got the size, the skating ability and he’s got the defensive defenceman ability. Petter’s also got maturity and he’s got the size and character to be that kind of player down the road.Â He is what he is and we like what he is.â€
I contacted Morrison last night to get an update on Granberg’s progress a few seasons later:
Progression has been very good as primarily a defense first smart puck mover. Had a very good WJC and played most of the [last] season in the SEL.
Could we see Granberg come overseas to North America and don a Marlie jersey as early as next season?
Do not know yet with next year. Alot of it will depend on Petter. Whether it is this year or the year after we want him to be ready and not rush him.
Two interesting news items surfaced yesterday as it pertains to the Roberto Luongo sweepstakes.
An article in The Province reports the newly-extended Alain Vigneault has publicly acknowledged Luongo’s desire to play elsewhere:
â€œThis is what he wants nowâ€¦And what we must do is [make the best decision] for our organization.
Meanwhile, a few sources – including the Globe and Mail and Sportsnet – report Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman has nipped the Luongo-to-Tampa rumours in the bud by stating his team’s next goalie will come from the draft or free agency.
TheÂ LightningÂ are viewed by some rumour mongers as the frontrunner in the Luongo sweepstakes given their desperate need for a number one goaltender and the fact that Luongo’s wife’s family resides in the state of Florida – where Luongo played five seasons for the Panthers before he was traded to Vancouver.
Continuing the Luongo theme, Michael Langlois says he wouldn’t pursue Lu if he was Burke.
Steve Dangle vlogs his thoughts on the Luongo speculation.
Some more information on Petter Granberg from Hockey’s Future.
Damien Cox with another good piece on the Marlies. The Marlies look to wrap up another quick series over Oklahoma City tonight as Norfolk awaits the winner in the Calder Cup Final.
Getzlaf could attract interest. Of course he would, if available, but the article doesn’t go as far as to suggest that.