Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson: Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft Profile


Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson: Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft Profile

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The 2014-15 season was unfortunately cut short for the Colorado Avalanche. That means that here at Mile High Sticking, we have a long off-season ahead of us. While the off-season is filled with all different kinds of articles, regarding the playoffs (that we are unfortunately not a part of), Avalanche season reviews, and many other things, it also gives us time to focus on the Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft.

Today we are taking a look at a forward from Sweden that has quite possibly the longest last name of the 2015 draft class.

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Name: Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

Height, weight: 6’1″, 185 lbs

Team/League: Omaha, USHL

Stats (from eliteprospects.com): 













Risk, Reward: 1/5, 3/5

NHL-potential: 2nd or 3rd line two-way center

Player comparison: Marcel Goc

Draft Range: Early second round

Scouting report

Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson is one of the best two-way forwards in the draft. He came over to North America to play in the USHL in 2013 and has spent two seasons with Omaha since then. Forsbacka-Karlsson, also called JFK (not to confuse with US president John F. Kennedy) because of his lengthy name, has committed to Boston University for the upcoming season.

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What really stands out about him is his defensive play and his play without the puck. According to The Hockey News, one NHL scout said Forsbacka-Karlsson is a “real honest player, really good defensively — without the puck he’s really good”. Furthermore, he is a very smooth skater, which helps his game without the puck.

He does all the little things right and knows how to excel defensively, although he could get a little bit stronger and get more physical. He is not the fastest skater overall, but is quick enough backwards to control the gaps well. Knows how to use his stick to force turnovers.

In the past USHL season, as well as in the USHL Top Prospects Game, JFK proved to be a very productive center. Elite Prospects scout Curtis Joe says that Forsbacka-Karlsson “can be an offensively effective center, possesses a high level of hockey intelligence and plays with intensity.” However, the big question about him is how well he can translate that offensive efficiency to the NHL, which is why he isn’t ranked any higher.

More from Mile High Sticking: Beichler’s Full First Round Mock Draft

Ryan Wagman of Hockey Prospectus says that Forsbacka-Karlsson doesn’t have a wow-factor to his game and that is one of the reasons why NHL scouts aren’t too high on him. According to The Hockey News, another scout has “a hard time seeing him as a big scorer. He’s honest, plays in all areas, but not necessarily a hard guy to play against.”

That is where the comparison to fellow European two-way center Marcel Goc comes from. Goc is in his tenth NHL season now and has been a valuable part of the teams he has played for. However, he is not exactly a flashy player, but rather a reliable bottom-six guy. The point is, you need guys like that if you want to succeed and they are very valuable to their team, you just maybe don’t want to spend your first round pick on them.

Fit with the Avalanche

Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson will likely be picked in the area of Colorado’s 40th overall pick and is certainly a player the Avalanche should look at. He has the upside to be a scoring two-way forward, but could also end up being a Marcel Goc type. He is a low ceiling, high floor sort of player.

For the Avalanche, he could be interesting no matter who they pick in the first round. What Colorado needs is another star defenseman beside Erik Johnson. There is no need to go after defensemen after the first round, as we have enough players that could fill a bottom-four role on defense in the system already.

Forsbacka-Karlsson will likely need a few seasons with BU, before he is ready to join the pros. But once he does, he can be a very valuable player for years to come.

More Draft Coverage:

2015 NHL Draft Profile List

Conor Garland

Guillaume Brisebois

Christian Fischer

Beichler’s Full First Round Mock Draft

Revisiting Avalanche Early Draft Options

Next: Draft Profile: Nicolas Meloche

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