Today, we move away from the QMJHL, and across the ocean to Sweden where we’ll take a look at another European prospect. Simon Robertsson is a big bodied RW (6’0”, 190 lbs) who uses his strength to his advantage well in all three zones, and has one of the hardest shots in the entire draft. He’s played well at the U20 level, scoring 50 points in 56 games across the last two seasons at that level. Therefore, naturally, he was called up beginning in 2019-20 to the SHL club, where he hasn’t been able to replicate the success he found before, but not everyone can succeed against men right away.
Though, Robertsson’s fundamentals were solid regardless, and all signs point to him being able to break through in 2021-22.
BSH 2021 Community Draft Board, No. 25: Simon Robertsson
Team: Skellefteå AIK (SHL/Sweden U20)
Stats: 1 G, 1 A in 22 GP (SHL), 9 G, 11 A in 15 GP (U20)
No. 11 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
No. 18 by Dobber Prospects
No. 27 by FC Hockey
No. 28 by TSN/Bob McKenzie
What’s there to like?
As was mentioned at the start of this prospect report, Robertsson’s game has three main strengths:
- He has a very hard shot
- He uses his size and strength very well
- He plays a 200 foot game
Let’s start first with the shot, and he releases it with rocket whip. He gets so much power on his wrist shot especially that if the goaltender is screened, he has practically no chance of stopping it.
Goaltenders at that level simply can’t stop Robertsson when he releases, and since he is consistently changing his release, he’s made his shot fairly unpredictable. On top of that, he will shoot from anywhere, despite his nature as a power forward type winger) and is accurate from far out.
Earlier in #U16 hockey, Sweden took home the 3-1 victory over Finland to clinch the tournament title on enemy ice.— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) February 10, 2019
The pass by Fabian Lysell to Simon Robertsson to open the scoring was nice. #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/e1H1cVnvRU
Second, Robertsson isn’t afraid to drive the net, and especially given how good his release is, when he’s shooting from in close it is very difficult for goaltenders to react in time.
Robertsson isn’t afraid to take the physical punishment that usually comes with driving the net, and he has the strength to rarely ever get knocked down when he does so. He almost reminds me of how Jarome Iginla used to drive the net, and when he does do so, Robertsson can also keep possession from down low and along the boards when he’s positioned there.
That leads to the third point. Robertsson is one of the hardest working players comped in the first round. He has relentless energy and compete level, and he works just as hard in his own zone as he does in the offensive zone. As you may have guessed, Robertsson is a very good forechecker, and he isn’t afraid to be physical to win the puck back or shield it from defenders down low and in tight. He can also use his speed, which is above average but not elite, to get to pucks that have been played into either zone before most other skaters at his age.
He certainly gives his all on every shift, which NHL coaches will love.
What’s not to like?
Robertsson is far from a complete player, however. He lacks that next level hockey sense that the top players in this draft all have. His decision making should improve as he plays more against grown men either in the SHL or AHL, but Robertsson is notably lacking in that area. He simply doesn’t make reads on plays as fast as one would like.
This lack of an elite hockey sense has impacted Robertsson’s overall offensive impact on his line, as well. He is far from a playmaker, and to truly cement himself as a top NHL option, he’ll need to improve his ability to find his teammates effectively. He can turn the puck over more than you’d like to see, almost as if he’s wearing horse blinkers.
If he can improve upon those things, Robertsson could be a dangerous top six power forward in the NHL, but his floor is that of a very effective bottom six winger. There is easily a scenario where Robertsson transitions from a top tier power forward goalscorer to an effective middle/bottom six grinder, since he already has those forechecking skills and physicality. He may not put up loads of points at his floor, but he’d still be an important piece of a team looking to go on a Cup run.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
Robertsson doesn’t have as good a natural fit as other players covered in the draft board thus far, especially if he only manages to reach his floor. At his ceiling, Robertsson could take a top six position and play net front on the power-play, something the Flyers have been needing (especially since I don’t quite like JVR in that role).
The Flyers aren’t really in need of a potential boom or bust prospect that could simply turn into an effective forechecker, but he could be useful in the playoffs.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
The Flyers could easily draft Robertsson, as he is projected to be taken in the mid to late first round.
We’ll also make one addition to the poll:
Joshua Roy — C, Sherbrooke Phoenix
“He has great hands and is a high-end passer. With the puck on his stick he stands out consistently with how many plays he can make through defenders and to his teammates. The physical tools are less flashy.” – Corey Pronman, The Athletic
Who should be 26th on the draft board?
This poll is closed
2021 BSH Community Draft Board
- Owen Power — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Matthew Beniers — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Brandt Clarke — D, Nove Zamky (Slovakia)
- Dylan Guenther — LW/RW, Edmonton (WHL)
- William Eklund — C/LW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Luke Hughes — D, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Simon Edvinsson — D, Frölunda HC J20 / J20 Nationell - 21/22
- Kent Johnson — W, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Aatu Räty — C, Kärpät U20 and Kärpät (Liiga)
- Jesper Wallstedt — G, Luleå (SHL)
- Mason McTavish — C, EHC Olten (SL)
- Cole Sillinger — C/LW, Sioux (USHL)
- Chaz Lucius — C, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Fabian Lysell — LW/RW, Luleå HF (SHL)
- Carson Lambos — D, JYP U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
- Matthew Coronato — F, Chicago Steel (USHL)
- Nikita Chibrikov — LW/RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL), SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL), SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
- Sasha Pastujov — LW, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Corson Ceulemans — D, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
- Oskar Olausson — LW/RW, HV71 (SHL)
- Brennan Othmann — LW, EHC Olten (SL)
- Logan Stankoven — C/W, Kamloops (WHL)
- Zachary L’Heureux — LW, Halifax (QMJHL)
- Zachary Bolduc — C/W, Rimouski (QMJHL)
- Simon Robertsson - RW - Skellefteå AIK (SHL)