20 Prospects in 20 Days: Joel Eriksson Ek

Published on June 24th, 2015
(Farjestad BK)

(Farjestad BK)

By: Andy Hughes (@PensNation_Andy)

With only 2 days left until the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida, we will be breaking down a prospect each day up until June 26th. Today we look at forward Joel Eriksson Ek.

(NHL.com)

C Joel Eriksson Ek, Farjestad (Sweden), 18 years old

Height: 6’2”, Weight: 180 pounds, Shoots: Left

RANKED:

NHL Central Scouting: 4th among International Skaters

TSN: 13th among all players

2014-15 Stats: 34 games, 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points, 4 penalty minutes

 

Center Joel Eriksson Ek is one of the best international prospects of this draft class. But if you look at his numbers in the SHL this past season, they won’t impress you at first glance. Eriksson Ek registered 4 goals and 2 assists in 34 games this season with Farjestad in Sweden. Keep in mind that this youngster was playing against men and was still able to contribute in some way. In 25 games with Farjestad’s junior team, he posted 21 goals and 11 assists. Those are the impressive numbers that most hockey fans look for in a first round prospect. Eriksson Ek is just that after a great performance in international tournaments in addition to a great second half of the season. Eriksson Ek deserves a lot of credit for shooting up the draft boards because he was once seen as a second-round or third-round guy. Not anymore though. One big question about a year ago was Eriksson Ek’s skating. It hadn’t been that good and was considered a weakness. After working on it, he dramatically improved this season and he should continue to do so as he matures. He’s not going to win many races to the puck against a speedy player, but he has improved his skating, which is encouraging. There are plenty of highly talented forwards in this draft, but it’s not a stretch to say that this kid has one of the best wrist shots in the draft class, which is very impressive. His quick release makes his shot NHL ready even before he is drafted. Eriksson Ek has great hands and is extremely hard to knock off the puck. He’s also a smart player with the puck and has the ability to assist on goals as well. The Swedish center is very good at faceoffs and always is in the middle of the action. He’ll particpate in scrums after the whistle, block shots and play good defense. He never takes a shift off. Players like him are valuable on any Stanley Cup winning team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him develop into a solid center who can contribute offensively and defensively in the near future. Eriksson Ek would be a perfect fit for the Detroit Red Wings at 19th overall. Detroit seems to get a lot out of players who play a good two-way game.

VIDEO:

Previously Seen in “20 Prospects in 20 Days”:

Travis Konecny
Nick Merkley
Jakub Zboril
Pavel Zacha
Zach Werenski
Brock Boeser
Lawson Crouse
Noah Hanifin
Ivan Provorov
Kyle Connor
Timo Meier
Dylan Strome
Mitch Marner
Mathew Barzal
Thomas Chabot
Evgeny Svechnikov
Mikko Rantanen
Ilya Samsonov

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