Ludvig Bystrom

Aaron Vickers

The smooth-skating defenseman has been sky-rocketing the rankings all year long. In the mould of the ‘modern’ Swedish defenseman, he solves problems in all zones with his smarts and his effective skating. While not a burner speed-wise, he gets to where he needs to be just fine. He possesses very good all-round mobility, strong acceleration and nice edge work. The increased physicality going from juniors to the senior level hasn’t caused any major problems as he boasts good size. As a puck-mover, he is able to connect the dots with the help of terrific skating or tape- to-tape passes. He will rush the puck up with decent hands and strong vision. Offensively, he does not over extend himself and has not been a big risk-taker, especially at the SEL level where any errors that could be hidden in junior become glaring gaffs. He uses his stick to break-up passing lanes and deflect shots; he uses his body to block shots or take a hit to move the puck out of danger. He shows smarts and knows when to pinch for pucks and when to hang back and maintain solid defensive positioning. He has a very aggressive side that he has toned down after playing a few games in the Elite League — if he incorporates this against bigger opposition, he could be a real strong physical presence. (May 2012)