To put it mildly, Jacob de la Rose likes to play the game hard.
The hulking six-foot-two, 182-pound Swede is making a name for himself as being one of the toughest and most physical specimens available in the 2013 NHL Draft. He uses his crash and bang style of game to put opponents off balance in the offensive zone leading to turnovers and scoring chances.
But his start with Leksand in the Allsvenskan in Sweden wasn’t exactly torrid, scoring just once in 15 games before being relegated back to Junior. Through three games in Sweden’s Junior League, SuperElit, he has two assists.
While offense has been hard to come by for him so far this season, his hard-nosed two-way game has managed to keep Future Considerations’ European scout Patrik Hall buzzing about de la Rose’s potential.
“de la Rose likes to do things at high speeds and in a more ‘North American’ way than your typical Swede,” Hall said. “He’s relentless on the forecheck where he uses his big frame to finish his checks. While his offensive tools are not high end and still need work, he makes up for it with his tremendous two-way game. He manages to set himself apart from the hyper-skilled prospects with his relentless physicality.”
Though his offensive skills aren’t as refined as other top prospects, his two-way play – specifically his physicality – ranks near the top of this years draft class. His size and speed dominated the U17 tournament this summer where he nabbed five points in six games for Sweden. He’s also a candidate to throw on the sweater for Sweden at the upcoming World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia this December.
de la Rose fell out of Future Considerations’ Top 30 Rankings in October after holding down the 26th position in September. His lack of offensive output is one of main contributing factors for his decline and he’ll need to put up considerable numbers in the SuperElit to regain his spot.
At the very least, he’ll try and bruise his way up the rankings.