With the 45th pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, the Boston Bruins selected centerman Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson from Omaha of the United States Hockey League.
Forsbacka-Karlsson is a native of Stockholm, SWE. Back in 2013-14, Forsbacka-Karlsson played for Team Sweden in the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, playing in 5 games while only collecting two points, both via assists.
The Swedish centerman paced his team last season with the Lacers totaling 53 points (15-38 – 53) in 50 games. That points figure was good enough for three more than fellow Omaha linemate and WSH prospect Shane Gersich (drafted 134th overall in 2014).
Forsbacka-Karlsson’s most enduring moment from last season was netting a hat trick on Nov. 26 against Waterloo. During that week of play, the 18-year-old earned the honors of being the USHL Forward of the Week during the last week of November, posting nine points (4-5 – 9) all in just three games.
Back in 2013, Forsbacka-Karlsson won gold with Sweden at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The centerman played in six games during the tournament and produced five points (2-3 – 5). During that same year, Forsbacka-Karlsson played in his first of two IIHF U18 tournaments with his native country.
Forsbacka-Karlsson captured team MVP for Team West at the 2015 USHL Prospects Game, where he combined for two points (1-1 – 2).
The notion that Forsbacka-Karlsson would be playing anytime soon in the Bruins’ system was set on hold recently, as the Swede announced that he will playing local college hockey with Boston University starting in the fall. It will be a great opportunity for the prospect playing for the highly talented Terriers, who narrowly fell to Providence last season in the NCAA College Hockey Championship.
Entering the draft, Forsbacka-Karlsson was ranked 52nd by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button felt the centerman’s ranking was germane. In his scouting report, Button granted Forsbacka-Karlsson a 3/5 in skating, hands, shot, and compete level. Button deemed his most sound area of the game was with his smarts, giving him a 4/5 in the category.
Forsbacka-Karlsson is classified as an all-around player. He’ll produce a moderate amount of goal-scoring, but nothing drastic. He plays well on defense, and has been recognized for his efforts in improving in that facet of the game. It has been said that Forsbacka-Karlsson must attain more consistency with his offense before he becomes on the Bruins’ radar. He plays the center position similarly to that of a David Krejci, both being stronger playmakers than goal scorers. As Button suggests, Forsbacka-Karlsson possess a high-level of hockey I.Q. As evident by this 38 assists last season, Forsbacka-Karlsson can pass effectively. Another upside to the teen’s game is his intensity. He plays with great energy while managing to stay composed with is skating in a smooth manner. His unconventional passing can help turn a down-and-out play into a scoring chance.
Overall, Forsbacka-Karlsson is an industrious type player. He’s a multifaceted centerman. He is a confident offensive player due to keen passing abilities. While at BU, he’ll look at add more speed to his game. With more speed, Forsbacka-Karlsson’s overall game will only become more unabridged.