After going off the board to take winger Yegor Korshkov with the 31st overall pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs restored order a little, taking Swedish international standout Carl Grundstrom with their final pick of the second round.
Grundstrom, who has excelled with Team Sweden at the U20, U18, U17 and U16 level has long been one of Sweden's top prospects in this class. At the U20 level domestically, Grundstrom led all MODO SuperElit players in points per game (the year before his draft year with 36 points, including an impressive 21 goals, in 27 games.
This year, playing a full year in the SHL, Grundstrom led all under-19 players in scoring, out-doing Joel Eriksson Ek (who went 20th overall to the Minnesota Wild last year) and fellow top 2016 prospect Rasmus Asplund with 16 points in 49 games with MODO. In the SHL playoffs, he stepped up his play and took on a greater role in MODO's first round exit, notching four points in seven games.
One of few draft-eligible players to play at this year's World Juniors, Grundstrom represented Sweden on the team's third and fourth lines in a checking and penalty killing role. He finished the tournament with one goal in seven games.
MODO is a program the Leafs are familiar with, having already selected, among others, alums William Nylander and Dmytro Timashov in recent years.
Grundstrom is a well-rounded two-way winger who plays with some physicality and can finish around the net. He's a decent shooter, and likes to shoot (a lot). He'll consistently look shoot before thinking pass, or try and drive the net. At 6-0 and 194 pounds, he's already built for the pro game and plays with net drive and power. He averaged 13:50 TOI with MODO in the regular season.
Here's some of our notes from FC on Grundstrom:
Grundstrom is a creative offensive forward who can ll the net and plays with drive. He has some blazing speed and excellent agility, making him very hard to contain. He seemingly never stops moving his feet and can drive around players or just power through them. He can hurt you with a variety of different offensive tactics. Grundstrom loves to carry the puck and use his puck skills to get players drawn in before ripping off a shot toward the net. However, he is just as likely to drive the net to bang in a garbage goal or make a strong pass to a teammate who has a better vantage point. He sees the offensive zone well and nds holes to calmly create opportunity. Gr- undstrom is a great forechecker and hard on the backcheck; he will work his butt of through his entire shift. He looks to strip pucks as well as trying to remain an open option for outlet passes. He is not overly physical, but provides energy and will not shy away from rubbing opponents out. He’s a good complementary player on a top line along with two skilled players, but he does not create a lot of scoring chances on his own. He is a hard-working winger with a nice release and great attitude. He plays a simple game and is always trying to nd the shortest way to the net. Grundstrom is a good offensive complementary guy who has a lot of room to grow yet.
More to come from Buffalo.