The Maple Leafs have turned a pick over to Swedish scout Thommie Bergman, drafting defenceman Jesper Lindgren with the 95th overall selection.
Lindgren, 6’0, 161 lbs and right handed, made a couple of appearances for Modo in the Swedish Hockey League but mostly spent his time with Modo’s J20 team, where he posted an impressive 33 points in 37 games off the blueline (very good numbers comparable to some of the most productive Swedish defenceman to make the jump to the NHL in recent years).
The Leafs have picked a number of Swedish defenceman with the advice Bergman over the years, from Carl Gunnarsson to Petter Granberg to Tom Nilsson to Viktor Loov. Between the latter three and William Nylander, Andreas Johnson, Sondre Olden (not Swedish, but developed there) and Pierre Engvall, the Leafs have drawn from the Swedish well pretty frequently in recent drafts.
Lindgren is rail thin, but it sounds like he’s high on skill, which is clearly the emphasis throughout this draft for the Leafs.
Mark Hunter’s Take
“Lindberg is a slight defenceman with good skills. He needs to get stronger. We will give him time to develop as a player.”
Jasper Lindgren Scouting Report
“A smooth skating offensive minded blueliner…more agile and fluid than a speedster…has impressive hockey sense and vision…makes some incredible high-end passes…not only hitting targets through skates and sticks but also finding open spots to head the puck…has a good hard shot that is has good placement…good defensively as well…while not a bruiser by any stretch physical play is solid, he never shies away from fighting along the boards…likes to use his body to separate the puck from the opponents in one on one situations…reads passes well and can step up to intercept before quickly transitioning the play…offensive puck moving is where he stands out most. (December 2014)”
– Future Considerations