The next Erik Karlsson. An offensive dynamo on defense from Sweden. No, not Rasmus Dahlin, it’s Adam Boqvist, and there’s a very good chance he’s a Buffalo Sabre in June.
Below are the Sabres odds to choose in each draft position 1-5 from left to right.
(Note these are projected odds, the exact numbers aren’t released by the NHL)
We’ve been through this before, It shouldn’t be as hard as it is to understand how low the 12.5% percent chance at choosing #1 is but the addictive thought of Rasmus Dahlin on the Sabres is hard to escape. The reality of the situation is that Buffalo will likely be choosing around 4-5 and there are two stud defenseman that should be sitting in the Sabres lap. One is Adam Boqvist, and the other is Quinn Hughes who I’ll end up making a blog post about as well.
Adam Boqvist is the younger brother of New Jersey Devils prospect, Jesper Boqvist.
As of right now it seems likely that the top 3 draft picks this year will be Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, and Filip Zadina. Picking 4 gives you the option of Hughes, Boqvist, and Tkachuk and I expect the two defenseman to go before Tkachuk.
Boqvist should garner more attention than he does but this is mostly due to him not playing in the 2018 World Juniors like the rest of the top 10 because he’s almost an entire year younger than everyone else. Boqvist will be Sweden’s top player at the tournament next year.
The one thing that you’re taking a gamble on with Boqvist is how quickly he’ll be ready to play in the NHL, he might be the furthest from being NHL ready with his 170 lb frame, but possesses some of the highest upside.
Every year it seems there’s a “next Erik Karlsson” defenseman and in terms of play style I feel Adam Boqvist is the most deserving of the comparison. If you check Boqvist’s twitter page you can see he clearly tries to model his game after the fellow Swedish superstar.
In the offensive zone Boqvist is like a forward when he has the puck. In a similar way that guys like Johnny Gaudreau and Johnathan Drouin can just circle the zone with the puck, Boqvist can do the same.
The strongest area of Boqvist’s game is probably his abilities with the puck while maneuvering the blue line.
He’s one of the best i’ve ever seen at pulling the puck into his body to get good shots through to the net and can just as dangerously make a pass or make an opposing winger look dumb.
Boqvist is a one man breakout machine and can rip a down ice breakout pass, hit a forward out of the zone in stride, or skate the puck out himself.
In the GIF below Boqvist uses a smart poke check on future superstar and fellow 2018 draft eligible Andrei Svechnikov and then turns the puck up ice leading to a goal
Boqvist has a smart stick and uses it well in the defensive zone. The area that he needs to improve most in defensively would be getting stronger to win more battles and clear the front of the net.
Projected NHL arrival: 2019-20
NHL Comparison: Erik Karlsson / Brandon Montour
Negatives: small frame, occasional defensive hiccups, longer projected development time
Positives: creativity, passing, shot, skating, PP quarterback
Next up: Quinn Hughes
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