If the Flames continue to go for talent and speed over size and brute strength in their drafting, Swedish forward Sebastian Collberg may be right up their alley. Whether or not he’s chosen when they hit the draft podium probably depends on which part of his season the scouts paid attention to.
No Numbers To Look At
A native of Mariestead, Sweden, Collberg played a lot of hockey all over the past during the past year. He played with teenagers with Frolunda’s junior team in the SuperElit league, posting 17 points in 21 games. He played with grown men with Frolunda’s professional team in Elitserien, posting zero points in 41 games. (That’s right – zero.) He also represented Sweden internationally, including impressive performances at the IIHF World Under-18s and World Juniors. He was one of two Swedish teenagers to win medals at both championships (Filip Forsberg was the other).
Playing against his peers, or even players slightly older than him, Collberg is very, very good. He’s got great speed, great hands and an excellent shot. He showed an ability to use these skills very effectively at the SuperElit level and the two IIHF championship tournaments he played in, but against men, he wasn’t quite fast enough to get away with what he could against the younger players. Most notably, his effectiveness darting in and out of the dirty areas of the ice was significantly lower in Elitserien than it was against the younger players.
Despite posting zero points in the professional ranks, though, Collberg has drawn a lot of favourable scouting reports. Hockey Prospectus’ prospect guru Corey Pronman:
Collberg got a very small amount of minutes in the SEL after being a top scorer in the Swedish U20 league as a 16-year-old. In international events, he was much better and produced a lot. Collberg is a true plus skater who is very well rounded in that aspect of the game. He’s great from a standstill with good agility and first step quickness. When he gets going, his top speed is quite dangerous and he can really put defensemen on their heels. Collberg has very quick feet that allow his first few steps to take advantage of his acceleration and speed more than the average quick player. He also has a nice "gliding gear" after he makes a couple of steps and can create very quick bursts from the simplest of motions. Collberg has above-average to plus puck skills as he is a very coordinated player with the puck who shows good creativity, can control the play well on the power play from the sideboards, and overall is hard to strip the puck from.
Collberg is a plus shooter with a great wrist shot that is deadly accurate and he regularly shows the ability to score from a distance. The phrase "quick release" is overused at times in scouting circles, but the puck truly does fly off his blade and is very deceptive.
However, Collberg will also go to the high percentage areas to score goals and doesn’t mind getting involved with the physical stuff. He is quite small though and needs a boatload of strength to be effective doing that at the pro level. Collberg has decent hockey sense, although his sense is more an instinctual, shooter type of sense as opposed to having good vision but he will make the rights plays and does show above-average vision here and there.
In short: Collberg is very talented, but he’s a bit small. He’s already tested himself against men and looked…alright. But he looked excellent against his peers at the World Juniors (and World Under-18s) and with a bit of seasoning, could adjust rather nicely to playing professional hockey.
He’s a bit of a project, but Collberg could be a great pick for the Flames.
Possibility he will be available at 14: Moderate
Possibility Flames will pick him: Moderate
- Radek Faksa
- Sebastian Collberg