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Toronto Maple Leafs Trade For 156th Pick, Select Pontus Holmberg

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The Maple Leafs paid the Sabres a 2019 pick for the chance to draft the Swedish winger.

Pension Plan Puppets 2018 Draft Coverage Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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.

The Stats

Pontus Holmberg via Elite Prospects

Season Team League GP G A TP PIM Playoffs GP G A TP PIM
Season Team League GP G A TP PIM Playoffs GP G A TP PIM
2013-2014 Västmanland TV-Pucken 5 0 0 0 0
VIK Västerås HK U U16 U16 Elit 28 13 23 36 2
2014-2015 Västmanland TV-Pucken 11 7 11 18 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 - - - - -

The Highlights

I’ll add some if I can find some :P

The Links

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.