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2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Oskar Olausson has lots of overlooked talent

The smooth-skating winger could be a great addition late in the first round

Sweden v Czech Republic: Preliminary Round Group B - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

We are less than a month away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft (July 23-24), so it’s time to start researching the prospects likely to be selected in the first round. The Columbus Blue Jackets currently hold three picks in that round: #5, #24, and #31.

Oskar Olausson

Position: LW/RW
Team: HV71 J20 / HV71 (SHL)
Date of Birth: November 10, 2002
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 181
Shoots: Left

Rankings

Ranked #17 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #14 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #48 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #21 by NEUTRAL ZONE
Ranked #26 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #20 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #30 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #13 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)
Ranked #18 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #13 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #30 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #16 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #15 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY

2020-21 Stats

Games Played: 43 (16 HV71 J20, 16 HV71, 11 Södertälje SK)
Goals: 20
Assists: 17
Points: 37
PIM: 12

Stockholm native Oskar Olausson is a highly skilled winger who loves to have the puck on his stick. He attacks opposing defensemen with his smooth, effortless skating and challenges the goaltender with his quick release. He projects to be a strong two-way player player with significant upside, and one who may be getting overlooked in this draft class. Sweden is projected to have multiple wingers drafted early, with William Eklund and Fabian Lyssel stealing most of the spotlight.

Olausson is solid enough defensively to not be considered a liability in his own end. He’s a well-rounded player with experience playing on the penalty kill and power play. The most common critique of Olausson is that he struggles to utilize his teammates and can get burned trying to make the highlight reel play. Turnovers are an issue in his game, and some scouts question his ability to see the ice and make plays.

His rankings are all over the place, ranging from #13 all the way to #48. Its very possible he’ll go somewhere in the mid-first round, but there is a decent chance he could fall into the back end of the round. If he is still available at #24 or even #31, will Jarmo Kekalainen and John Davidson be giving consideration to adding Oskar Olausson?

Scouting Reports

Olausson is the type of player that it seems likely NHL scouts will fall in love with. In turn could end up going a lot earlier in the draft than many have pegged him to. If he continues to develop he has the potential to be a 30 goal, first line winger. - Alexander Appleyard, Smaht Scouting

Olausson’s an athletic, fast-in-straight-lines winger with hands like a much smaller player and an NHL wrist shot. He’s also a very confident player, so he’ll go right through a defender on one sequence and burn them to the perimeter on the next. He was overwhelmingly good against his peers when he played at the junior level this year but I was also impressed with his comfort level on the attack professionally in both the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan. His ability to hang onto the puck under pressure for a rangier player, or split through traffic to handle underneath sticks really is impressive. - Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

Olausson bounced around between multiple pro levels and Sweden’s junior level and mostly had success everywhere he went offensively. He has NHL-caliber speed and skill to go with good size, which can easily let you envision him generating clean zone entries with control. Inside the offensive zone, he’s more of a shooter than a passer. He can make good plays and does so with pace, but the main offensive threat he has is his shot and ability to finish from range. Olausson works fine off the puck, he’ll get back defensively but he’s not overly physical and can play on the perimeter too much. In a sentence, Olausson projects as a middle-six NHL winger due to his speed, skill and shot but may frustrate coaches too. - Corey Pronman, The Athletic

Olausson has the potential to be a top-six winger at the NHL level but is a bit of a risk. He needs to be more consistent as there are games where he is excellent and others where he seems to disappear a bit. However, he has a ton of skills and a good work ethic. If he can be developed properly, his ceiling is high. He is a bit of a long-term project though as his hockey IQ is a bit of a question mark at this stage. Olausson’s game is reminiscent of Max Pacioretty but this is a stylistic comparison only, not one based on skill and ability. - Ben Kerr, Last Word on Sports

Highlights