Team: Leksands (Swedish Allsvenskan league)
Date of Birth: August 13, 1994
Place of Birth: Ostervala, Sweden
Ht: 6'2" Wt: 181
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
2011-2012 Kvalserien ES Stats:
Filip Forsberg is the top ranked European player in the NHL Central Scouting rankings. Forsberg's explosive north-south speed and well finessed stickhandling have earned him the top spot.
The 2011-2012 season brought Forsberg plenty of accolades. First, he had the most points by a U18 Junior in the Allsvenskan with 17. At the U18 World Juniors he claimed the Best Forward award in addition to serving as captain of the squad that earned the Silver Medal. Not to be outdone, Forsberg then claimed the Gold Medal with the U20 Swedish team in the World Juniors, where he was the youngest player on the team.
The combination of skating speed and puck control in tight spots are among Forsberg's strengths. When you realize that he's performing so well at age 17 is really where you start to take notice of his game. Also not to be overlooked is his effective play on the backcheck. Thoughts of Ryan Callahan come to mind when Forsberg freely blocks shots and is persistent in a forechecking role, trying to induce opponents to cough up the biscuit.
NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb
"A leader who shows by example -- I would compare him to Anaheim's Corey Perry a little bit. Has a nose for the net, and often scores the big goals. He's a creative playmaker, good skater with fine straight-ahead speed. He's a right-handed forward with an excellent shot and an effective two-way player with a great winning attitude. Filip's a solid puck carrier with very good puck-handling skills; mature, good size and physically strong. On top of that, he'll sacrifice himself to make the play."
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
With the Jackets turning the page on what was the most painful season yet, the wheels of change start to turn. As they turn, and it becomes increasingly apparent that even without the nuclear option, there will still be a significant retooling of the team. What better time then, to inject another fleet skating, precision passing young player than the likes of Forsberg?
The likely departure of Rick Nash hastens the thought of what had been regarded as "Nash's team"; the straightforward bull-in-the-woods club, to one of a fast, young, elusive team. A team that is inclined to rely on speed and tenacity more than on punishing battles in the corners.
Forsberg fits that mold. He is already set to play next season with Leksand. Beyond that, he has already been drafted by Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL, where he was chosen in the 2nd round, 41st overall. However, his skill set, both known and that still to be found will find him in the NHL sooner rather than later.
Finally, here's a video of Forsberg scoring a couple of beauties in the U18 tournament: