Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations’ European head scout Dennis Schellenberg is no different.
Here is Schellenberg’s notebook from the Under-18 Five Nations.
Alex Vlasic, D, USA, 6-6, 192, DOB 05-01-2001
Vlasic impressed with very good puck management in tight. He made a couple of great plays when being pressured by opposing forwards and was able to even create scoring chances while not having any space and time. Always made the right decisions with the puck. He was very aware of his environment and knew where his linemates were. Vlasic displayed vision as well as decent hockey IQ, and showed decent mobility for his size. Another area where he impressed was his ability to play long outlet passes through the neutral zone. Those passes arrived on tape and with good power. Due to his size, he possesses a long reach, that he used effectively to interrupt plays. Vlasic impressed with a sound defensive game, size and the ability to initiate quick attacks. However, he is more of a stay-at-home defenseman and his offensive upside is probably limited.
Albin Grewe, RW, Sweden, 6-0, 176, DOB 03-22-2001
Grewe showed off powerful skating abilities, being very balanced and strong on skates. Hard to knock off the puck and displayed a strong lower body strength. He skates with good top speed as well as mobility. He understands the game at a high level and showed nice vision alongside good hockey IQ, was always very aware of his linemates. He needs to work on his temper, as he tends to take stupid penalties and deliver dangerous hits. He does not really possesses any outstanding skills, but does a lot of things decently.
Henri Nikkanen, C, Finland U18, 6-2, 185, DOB 04-28-2001
There’s some Jesperi Kotkaniemi in Nikkanen’s game. Often, he is not the most noticeable player on the ice but still walks away with lots of points. He’s subtle in his production, as he does not really catch the eye with fancy plays. Nikkanen plays a strong two-way game and was effective on the PK, where he convinced with strong stick work and broke up passes and shooting lanes. Nikkanen is a good skater with good mobility and lateral movement. He seems to be all over the ice as he backchecks until he’s deep in his d-zone. Nikkanen delivers offensive upside mainly due to his strong vision and playmaking skills. He sees open ice well and can set up plays en masse. Plays a very mature game.