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

VIK Västerås HK U U16U16 Elit281323362
VIK Västerås HK U U16U16 Elit271946658
VIK Västerås HK U J18J18 Div.1111113242
VIK Västerås HK J18J18 Elit42240
2015-2016VIK Västerås HK J18J18 Elit32925348Playoffs22020
2016-2017VIK Västerås HK J18J18 Elit8911206
VIK Västerås HK J18J18 Allsvenskan20000Playoffs84480
VIK Västerås HK J20SuperElit456121810
2017-2018VIK Västerås HK J20SuperElit1256114
VIK Västerås HKDivision 1367132010Kvalserien AS82462
Växjö Lakers HCSHL20000
Sweden U19 (all)International-Jr41564
2018-2019Växjö Lakers HCSHL-----

The Highlights

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.