The Swedes invaded the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota.
And one will be back very soon.
The Minnesota Wild selected Swedish defenseman Jonas Brodin 10th overall, the fourth Swede selected in the first 10 picks of the 2011 draft.
“It was a fantastic feeling to be picked by Minnesota in Minnesota,” said Brodin. “[The Wild organization] showed me around the locker room and the arena. They have a very good organization, so I like it.”
Although Brodin was raised in small locality in Edsvalla and has played the last two seasons in Karlstad, a city of just under 60,000, Brodin insisted that he liked the big city feel that the Twin Cities offered during just his third trip to America.
“I like it, my hometown is like a thousand people, so it’s a big difference,” he admitted.
The six-foot-one defenseman had a breakout year in playing Karlstad in the older, stronger Swedish Elite League where he played alongside fellow first round pick Oscar Klefbom (Edmonton, 19th). Despite putting up just four points in 42 games, all assists, Brodin really benefited from playing in the skilled league.
“It’s tough,” Brodin said in fairly fluid English in regards to playing in the Swedish Elite League. “But this season there was very many injured on defense so I got much playing time. It was good for my development to play much in the Swedish League.”
Brodin, 15th overall in Future Considerations’ final ranking for the NHL draft, is considered a smooth and poised two-way defenseman who will join the rush or carry the puck himself when it is safe to do so. After getting selected, Brodin gave a similar skating report to the draft media and told Minnesota Wild fans what type of player they were getting.
“I’m a mobile two-way defender with good skating and good in both zones,” Brodin said. “I like to bring the puck and follow the rush to the offense.”
It might so happen to be the perfect match as the Minnesota Wild dealt Brent Burns to San Jose less than two hours after selecting Brodin. This is all on top of having subpar defensive prospects in the system. Behind Marco Scandella, who might make the NHL club this year, features Tyler Cuma whose season was ended prematurely with a torn ACL and has also had other knee and elbow injuries in past seasons. Nate Prosser and Justin Falk who still likely need at least one more season in Houston (AHL) before consideration in playing full time with the Wild.
Brodin himself will not see the Wild lineup next year, committing to Farjestads for another season.
“It’s hard to say how [this] season will go,” the 17-year-old Brodin said. “I need to be strong and I’m going to work at it and I hope one or two years [I’ll be playing in Minnesota].”
After that, he’ll be ready to invade the Twin Cities once again.
Andrew Weiss is a Future Considerations columnist and can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WeissFC. Follow the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed at www.twitter.com/FCHockey, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/futureconsiderations and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FCHockey
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