The Quick Bio
The Leafs decided to do a little trade, swapping their 2019 sixth rounder for Buffalo’s this year. With the pick the Leafs selected Pontus Holmberg, a 5’10” left wing from Sweden. He is pretty off the board, only being ranked by McKeen’s Hockey at #154 — no one else had him ranked. As a 19 years old he’s also a bit older.
Patrik Bexell of Habs Eyes on the Prize spoke to the Växjö coach Sam Hallam recently, and he said he likes Holmberg a lot, and plans to play him as a top-six winger in the coming season. He played very little in the SHL last season, as he wanted to finish school.
Pontus Holmberg via Elite Prospects
|VIK Västerås HK U U16||U16 Elit||28||13||23||36||2|
|VIK Västerås HK U U16||U16 Elit||27||19||46||65||8|
|VIK Västerås HK U J18||J18 Div.1||11||11||13||24||2|
|VIK Västerås HK J18||J18 Elit||4||2||2||4||0|
|2015-2016||VIK Västerås HK J18||J18 Elit||32||9||25||34||8||Playoffs||2||2||0||2||0|
|2016-2017||VIK Västerås HK J18||J18 Elit||8||9||11||20||6|
|VIK Västerås HK J18||J18 Allsvenskan||2||0||0||0||0||Playoffs||8||4||4||8||0|
|VIK Västerås HK J20||SuperElit||45||6||12||18||10|
|2017-2018||VIK Västerås HK J20||SuperElit||12||5||6||11||4|
|VIK Västerås HK||Division 1||36||7||13||20||10||Kvalserien AS||8||2||4||6||2|
|Växjö Lakers HC||SHL||2||0||0||0||0|
|Sweden U19 (all)||International-Jr||4||1||5||6||4|
|2018-2019||Växjö Lakers HC||SHL||-||-||-||-||-|
I’ll add some if I can find some :P
Draftin Europe had this to say about him in their 2018 Draft guide:
Ability to promptly set up his teammates... has a knack for figuring out and exploiting the simpler play available
If you don’t mind reading through a Google Translate version of a Swedish profile, there’s this... (I thought about cleaning up the weird translation but they’re so charming I have to leave it all in as-is. Enjoy!):
Holmberg has extremely good mobility, can turn on a femoral ear [this actually says turn on a dime] with 100% control on the puck. We’ve seen such a movement chart almost just seen by a young player since William Karlsson, Patrik Berglund and Mikael Backlund’s days.
Even fast-acting, but the shot can be improved a lot. Was also uneven over the season and did not produce much in total.
However, the development curve was steep in the right direction and in playoff angry teens, many opponents’ knees were out of control with their twists and turns. Did then hurt the thumb and the last puck contact in VIK (for many years?) Led to an important goal against Borlänge in the quarrel series.
Holmberg has this ability, as few have, to be able to protect the puck so well even though bigger players hang over him. It’s the very few young players that can handle.
156. MAPLE LEAFS: Pontus Holmberg F— Jimmy Hamrin (@jimmyhamrin) June 23, 2018
Smart pick. A skilled forward that had a great season. Smart, quick, creative and good at covering the puck. Top 9 fwd potential. #nhldraft2018
Pontus Holmberg was one of Sweden's best U19 players this year. Not a bad late pick. #NHLDraft— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisNHL) June 23, 2018
Pontus Holmberg is another overager. Still really raw. Weird route to get here. Will play in SHL for first time next season. Tiny centre who projects as a winger.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) June 23, 2018