We’re continuing our prospect wrap-up series with Adam Ollas Mattsson, a defender from the SHL that has some intrigue around him. How did he perform this year, and what’s in store for him in the future? Scroll down and find out.
A brief history
Ollas Mattsson, the second last Flames pick in 2014, was a safe gamble in the sixth round that year. Even as a big dude, he had seen some success in the Swedish U20 league and on international duty. He broke into the SHL on a part-time basis in his draft +2 year, raising his stock among Flames fans. He could be a sixth round treasure.
That is, until his World Juniors. In his final year of eligibility in the tournament, he took a major step backwards when he suffered an LBI (if I recall correctly, a knee injury), and missed the rest of the tournament and 2015-16 season.
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The big issue with Ollas Mattsson was that he didn’t take a step forward this year, instead taking one back. A defenceman’s NHLe isn’t always going to be an indicative measure of future success, but it’s clear that he wasn’t himself this season. I really liked what I’ve seen from Ollas Mattsson, but since the knee injury, I’m a little skeptical. He clearly hasn’t been producing at the same levels as before, and his projections have taken a dip.
Points were hard to come by for the young defender, as was ice time. Ollas Mattsson, on average, played the least out of any regular Djurgardens defender. I imagine the SHL has similar development dynamics to the NHL; you aren’t just going to throw your young defenders into the fire. But if you aren’t much besides a third pairing guy in an inferior league at age 20, your chances at the NHL are slim.
A commenter on the Linus Lindstrom wrap-up asked about cohorts, which was an interesting way of looking at things. I decided to run the numbers for Ollas Mattsson, and they are not very good, unsurprisingly. Of 20-year-old SHLers who scored similarly to him, 47 such hits, only three of them actually made the NHL (200+ games). That’s a 6.38% chance of him sticking it.
That’s if he ever comes over.
The Flames do have the rights to Ollas Mattsson for a few more years, but the question is really why the team would go for it. By the time they would have to make a decision, they would likely have graduated a few high-end prospects from the system. By my count, they have four potential blue chippers at various levels (Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Adam Fox, Brandon Hickey). Where is the space for Ollas Mattsson?
But of course, they still have a few more years. He’s going to have to be mighty impressive to work his way back into consideration.