Flames 2012 First Round Targets: SEBASTIAN COLLBERG



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.

Probable Target?

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

The List

  • As far as high end skill that has a decent shot of still being around at 14, I can see Collberg. Which would be interesting. RW shooter to Baertschi LW playmaking. Not that both of them can’t both score and pass, but I sense an interesting chemistry there. Just need a big, skilled center to put between them. Who can we move for Giregnsons?

  • T&A4Flames

    0 point in 41 games… even though it’s against grown men, that puts up some red flags for me. I like that he goes to the dirty and high percentage areas, but I would have really liked to hear about his commitment level to fitness. If he is dedicated to getting stronger, I could see him making noise in the NHL. Still, I would put him ahead of Gaunce and a few others.

  • Also, 17 year olds should never be judged negatively by not excelling against fully grown men. More like, if they excel, then you know you’ve got something there. But I would never hold it against a prospect.

  • Bastian would be a good pick for me (though obviously it depends somewhat on who’s available).

    Personally, I prefer Pontus Aberg of the two, though the difference between them is, for me, just more than a hair. I certainly wouldn’t hold it against the Flames (if it came down to the two of them) if they took Collberg ahead of Aberg. He’s 5 months younger than Pontus, anyway.

    My preference these days is, for some reason, Girgensons, since he’s more likely to be available than Faksa, and is almost as good (if far less consistent).

  • Bikeit

    All this forward talk. The flames are lacking in most areas and as a team you start building from the back out. Since the flames could have had good young Dmen in place like Erixon and Gormley they have to fill this gap quickly so that they have higher quality young D prospects. I think they will pass on forwards and will take Ceci, Lindholm, Pouliot, Maatta. Hopefully Maatta for footspeed, good size and good offense.

  • T&A4Flames

    If it comes down to Dmen, I would very much like to see either Reinhart or Ceci. I think Ceci is a better chance to be available when we pick than Griffin but either would make me happy. Aside from these 2, one of the other right shooting Dmen, Dumba, Trouba etc., would be ok.

  • Speaking of free agents (which it seems was going on…), looks like another RW possibility is off the market. David Jones signs for 4 years, $4M per. Big raise for the guy, good for him, but it seems a little too rich for the blood. $4M a season is like, Ville Leino-type money.

  • Kent, is Dumba one of the potential Flames picks you’ll be profiling? I think I saw somewhere that the latest Central Scouting rankings had Dumba outside of the top 10 North American skaters. When you factor in that Forsberg and Teravainen will likely go ahead of him, that puts him at 12. So if he drops anymore he may fall to us. Just something that popped into my mind. If it came down to Dumba and Griffin who would you choose?

    • I had not considered it since I hadn’t seen him outside the top-10 of many lists until now. If he keeps dropping, I may look at profiling him.

      If I had to choose, I’d go with Dumba I think, although it’s not a slam dunk. I’ve heard he’s got some high-end talents but is also a bit of rodeo in other areas. Reinhart probably doesn’t have the same ceiling but also has a well rounded game and better size.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I hate the idea of Dumba, if only because everything I’ve heard about him reminds me exactly of Dion Phaneuf; physically gifted in so many ways, but dumb as a post in terms of decision making. I realize Phaneuf only had 2-3 years of awful play, but it still leaves a bit of bitterness (that, and the trade, and the contract, etc)

  • Franko J

    I prefer the Flames target a center or dman over a winger. Although Collberg ‘s speed and skill is intriguing, I feel they already have similar players in Granlund and Gaudreau. My target RW would be Kurker, Reid, and Marcantuoni. I guess we have to wait and see what the Flames will do.

  • @Bikeit – drafting by position is partially what got the Flames into the trouble they’re in.

    Also, the idea of building from the back out seems to be being replaced by building strong down the middle.