Preds’ on Swedish center Ejdsell’s short list

Last Sunday, Swedish media outlet NWT.se reported that Victor Ejdsell, 21, who has draw interest in the NHL is deciding between three clubs to sign with: the Nashville Predators, the Detroit Red Wings & the Chicago Blackhawks.

Ejdsell, who turn’s 22 this June, spent this past season playing for BIK Karlskoga of the Allsvenskan league in Sweden.  There, Sweden’s second tier league, Ejdsell put up 57 points – 25 goals, 32 assists – in 50 games while adding 7 more points – 4 goals, 3 assists – in 10 qualification games at the end of the season.

For Ejdsell, who has spent time in Sweden’s top league and below, this was a breakout season.  The center was never drafted into the NHL, and his previous best output was 12 points in 20 games in the Allsvenskan two seasons ago.

Ejdsell clocks in as a big player. He’s 6’5″, carries 214 pounds and is capable of playing wing or center.

It was reported that Ejdsell was in Nashville for Game 4 of the Preds-Hawks series that saw the Preds sweep Chicago out of the first round.

Detroit’s assistant GM recently said, “He’s evolved into a strong two-way center…His move from wings to center helped his defensive game. He’s got good hands and offensive ability.”

Below is a quick look at Ejdsell’s skill. Our analysis starts at the 3:16 mark:

Ejdsell,  #9 in blue, starts off the shift with good acceleration and puck-handling.  You can see his size and long stride work as he easily carries the puck into the zone for a scoring chance.  At the 3:27 mark, we again can see his size and reach benefit his passing in tight areas around the slot.  At 3:37, Ejdsell makes a solid defensive play in his own zone before going end-to-end for the game-winning goal.

His size is a clear advantage, and if his play in the defensive-zone slot is sound then his good stride and reach allow for quick zone exits and good passing.

We can see his skating ability is largely unmatched and that will bode well for the North American game.  It’s unlikely Ejdsell will immediately transition his success overseas, but his fundamentals show he could be successful in the American Hockey League soon.

In terms of more specific numbers, we find those below:

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Here, courtesy of Zac Urback, we see Ejdsell has a good net goal differential on the ice with high minutes, 16:33 a night. His 4.13 P/60 is outstanding as are his 11.1 SoG/60, however, his 16.3% shooting percentage is likely unsustainable.  It was pointed out that his is the lowest of those three players and it could show their play may be too advanced for the Allsvenskan, but, regardless, that will come down in North America.

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Here, courtesy of Patrick Carlsson, we see Ejdsell maintained a decent 50.34% Corsi-for while shooting second-highest on his team. His 119 primary passes compared to 33 secondary ones is an encouraging sign of driving play as is his high shooting rate which we have seen work well for players like Viktor Arvidsson.

Ejdsell’s decision should come this week. While it would be nice for the Preds to get a big-bodied center under contract, especially to fill upcoming vacancies in Milwaukee, take his breakout season with a grain of salt.

For more coverage, be sure to follow us on Twitter @preds_prospects

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