2012 Minnesota Wild Prospects: #5 - Johan Larsson


Johan Larsson
Forward (C/W), 6'0" 200 lbs
Brynas IF (SEL) 36 points (12G-24A) in 49 games

The days of Johan Larsson (drafted 56th overall in 2010) being a footnote as the player taken with the pick Minnesota received for trading Eric Belanger to Washington are over. And that's a good thing.

Larsson, who was the second of 3 second round picks, is the quintessential middle child in more ways than one. While fellow second rounders Brett Bulmer and Jason Zucker played in more visible North American leagues (the WHL and WCHA, respectively), Johan came from the far reaches of Swedish's Sweden's under-20 league. His game isn't flashy by any stretch of the imagination either. What the 20 year-old lacks in dazzle and recognition, however, is made up by his accomplishments.

The Swedish forward has spent the past two season in the Swedish Elite League with Brynas IF, the second of which saw Larsson win the Rookie of the Year award. It's an award that players like Henrik Zetterberg and Loui Erikson have previously earned and one that has been a steppingstone to bigger and better things.

Along with winning the Swedish Rookie of the Year, Larsson showed off his leadership abilities as he captained Sweden to a gold medal last year in the U-20 World Junior Hockey Championships. It continued a trend of succeeding in international tournaments - in his draft year, Johan had an offensive explosion scoring  fourteen points in the World U-18 tournament.

Although scoring is nice, it is only one aspect of Larsson's repertoire. The Swedish forward was drafted less for hitting the back of the net and more for his competitive streak, hard work on both ends of the ice and being wiser than his years. His offense has developed since then, much in the same way as it did for fellow 2010 second rounder Zucker, and the evolution into a two-way forward with an offensive nose looks to pay dividends for the organization.

After a year that saw a Swedish Elite League title, ROY award and WJC gold medal, Larsson is ready to make North American debut this season in Houston..well almost. Despite scoring a goal this weekend during the Aeros' scrimmages in St Paul, the Xcel Energy Center PA named him as "Jonas Larsson."

Once a middle child...


Previous 2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Articles:
#6 - Matt Hackett
#7 - Brett Bulmer
#8 - Jason Zucker
#9 - Zack Phillips
#10 - Mario Lucia
#11 - Johan Gustafsson
#12 - Darcy Kuemper
#13 - Erik Haula
#14 - Daniel Gunnarsson
#15 - Raphael Bussieres
#16 - Kris Foucault
#17 - Nick Seeler
#18 - Tyler Cuma
#19 - Chay Genoway
#20 - Tyler Graovac
Honorable Mentions
Introduction

5 comments:

  1. I look at Larsson as a young Koivu with possibly a bit more scoring. He could be a big of the future of this organization.

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  2. "Swedish's"? Really, guys?

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  3. The next Henrik Zetterberg. Book it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yup...for the sabres...

    ReplyDelete