Could it be? The Ottawa Senators top pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft may be heading to North America.
Defenseman Filip Nordberg, the club’s 64th overall selection was loaned by his current team, Södertälje in Sweden’s Allsvenskan to the Växjö Lakers in the Sweden Hockey league.
Per the Södertälje general manager Emil Georgsson, “We have accepted this as Filip also has the desire to play in the USHL for the remainder of the season. This is not yet clear, but we are looking at a solution together with Filip and his agents.”
At the Entry Draft in July, Senators assistant GM Trent Mann mentioned “The intention is for Nordberg to land in North America playing in the USHL next season, team to be determined.”
Mann described the six-four, 207-pound blueliner as “a big kid who can skate who has really good puck skills – plays with a little bit of an edge as well. We’re pretty excited at his upside in all three zones on the ice. He can defend and contribute offensively.”
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Senators’ chief European scout Mikko Ruutu who viewed the Stockholm resident last season was also impressed with his game, “He’s a bigger guy too. He’s physically more mature. I think he’s closer that way. He’s still a young kid. They need time, but his frame is so big and he can shoot the puck also. There are lots of things to like. He can play in all three zones. Right now he’s playing power play in junior. Time will show if he’s good enough to play in the NHL.”
It’s very rare that a player competes in junior to Sweden’s American League equivalent followed by a jump to pro during the same season. But Nordberg has now done just that.
The captain of his junior Södertälje club, the d-man registered three goals, and eight assists in 18 games prior to his promotion to their Allsvenskan team where Nordberg recorded two goals, and two assists in 25 games.
The plan is for the 18-year-old to remain with the Lakers for a period of two weeks while planning his next move. Whether Filip Nordberg remains in the SHL or heads to the USHL remains to be seen. Either way, the good news for the Senators’ organization is that Nordberg is developing at a rapid pace.
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