The Minnesota Wild selected Joel Eriksson Ek with the 20th selection in the first round of the 2015 draft.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 180-pound Karlstad, Sweden native scored 21 goals and added 21 assists in 25 games for Farjestad Junior of Sweden’s junior league. He added nine goals and five assists in 12 games over three international tournaments.
The NHL’s Central Scouting Service ranked him as the fourth best European skater in their final list. He jumped to the fourth spot after ranking 22nd on the mid-term list. Other rankings include: 15th overall by Hockeyprospect.com, 20th overall by the International Scouting Service, 23rd by Future Considerations, 16th by McKeen’s Hockey and 23rd by TSN/Bob McKenzie.
“He is a very competitive, powerful center with great speed, a good strong shot and excellent puck-handling,” Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said on NHL.com’s scouting report. “He is creative on the offense while reliable on defense. Likes to go to the net to create scoring chances.”
Per TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button: He is a well-balanced center who can play in any situation. He’s an intelligent player who reads the play quickly, taking advantage both offensively and defensively. Good skills and is comfortable playing in any style of game competitive approach. Maturity will be longer but the potential is high.
The overwhelming analysis of him is that he is a two-way center with power forward skills. However, he does not have first step nor change-of-direction quickness and is not a scorer.
The Wild probably could have moved down and still got him along with another pick or taken a player with more offensive upside. Based on the majority of the scouting reports and limited viewing of him, he looks like a third or fourth line player and penalty killer.