Joel Eriksson Ek
Current Team: Färjestad, SHL
Date of Birth: January 29, 1997
Place of Birth: Karlstad, Sweden
Weight: 185 lbs
Joel Eriksson Ek is believed to one of the top European skaters in this draft class, but where he'll go in June is anyone's guess. Some have him going late in the first round, while other mock draft have him being selected in the second round. Eriksson Ek picked up 34 games of experience in the SHL and has represented Sweden in recent World Junior events.
He plays a strong, complete game as a two-way center. He doesn't come into the draft with the most skill, but he works extremely hard, more often than not winning the board battles. He has drawn comparisons to Nino Niederreiter of the Minnesota Wild.
A very competitive center who uses his size, skill, and skating to power to the net and create scoring chances. Possesses an elite-level shot, great vision, and slick puckhandling skills; as a result, it's no surprise that he has a natural knack for scoring big goals. Offensive catalyst, but also defensively responsible. Plays a creative, 200-foot game. All-in-all, an intelligent, scoring center that is productive at both ends of the ice. - Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
Strong competing centre who plays solid in all zones. A player who at an earlier juncture projected as a low-end roster player who is strong in the dot and very responsible defensively. He is smart and comes to win every night. It isn’t like he is a deft speedster;but he most certainly continues to improve his feet and continue on the uptick as a smart strong-on-the-puck player who reads the situations and knows when to continue carrying and when to find the teammate with a pass. He needs more strength but is strong in traffic and creates space on the attack. He supports well defensively and always instinctively position himself well. He will continue to fill his gangly body out and get even stronger than he already is. There are glimpses of strong offensive instincts that may flourish as he fills out physically. Already creates space and excels in the dot.A long term player who some team will take a chance on. - Bill Placzek, Draftsite.com
A Good Fit in Columbus?
It's never a bad thing to build center depth, though that isn't the primary concern for Jarmo & co. this draft. If Eriksson Ek falls into the second round, he'd be a sensible selection, especially as the futures of Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu remain uncertain. It probably wouldn't be the best choice to move up to get him late in the first, but if he slips and ends up available early in the second round it would make a lot of sense.
Eriksson Ek in Action