2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #45: Emil Johansson
A midsize defenseman with a good puck moving skill set, Johansson had an excellent combine, but may still be seen as a bit of a project pick.
Team: HV71 U20 (SEL)
Date of Birth: 1996-05-06
Place of Birth: Vaxjo, Sweden
Height: 6'0" Weight: 194 lbs.
The 12th ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting, Johansson has gotten recognition for his ability to move the puck and a strong "hockey sense" when on the ice. He's not a scoring machine, but he does have some talent in that area - the very first video result when you google him is a nice video of him scoring a game winning shootout goal.
There may be some concerns about the fact that, unlike a lot of his peers in this draft, he hasn't had any time playing on his club's top tier team, but given that most scouts expect defensemen to take longer to mature I don't see that hurting his stock too much.
He's capable of making a physical impact, but from what I can see he'd rather cut you off on the angles and use his positioning to cut down opponents' options before taking the puck off of them.
Johnansson also had a pretty decent combine - placing in the top three for both grip strength and VO2/Max, which I'm sure got him some interest.
Johansson is a mid-sized blueliner who moves the puck well. He's not tall but does have some strength and skates well with good overall mobility which aids his puck moving talents. He keeps his head up and reads the play well. - My NHL Draft
Johansson is a good-sized blueliner who is only getting bigger. Generally has decent puck-possession instincts and can make a solid first pass. In the defensive zone, he looks to cut off oncoming forwards along the boards and in the corners. He's also not shy to use his weight to dish out checks in front of his own goal. When Johansson is playing cool and collective, he's a heady player who shows a good understanding for the game. - Hockey's Future
Why He'd Be A Good Fit In Columbus:
We've talked about the team's need to start restocking their defensive pipeline, and Johansson could be a decent "project" pick - perhaps using the team's extra 2nd round pick from LA or their third round selection if he should fall a little farther than we're currently projecting. He's not likely to be NHL ready for a few years, at least, but he shows signs of being a reliable second or third pairing guy once he is.
Plus, he'd fill the team's yearly quota for Swedish prospects who have an active twitter account.
Johansson In Action: