With the 32nd pick in the 1st round, the Stanley Cup champions have selected David Edstrom from Frolunda of the SHL.
Edstrom stands at 6’3″, 185, and is considered a two-way power center. His size and strength allowed him to play professionally at the highest level in Sweden at the age of just 18. He is also widely regarded as an above-average to good defensive center.
Most scouting reports indicate his offensive game is slightly limited, especially off the rush. Much of his offense has come from being a net-front presence or using his size to overpower physically weaker players.
It begins with his physical base and his playmaking ability. We’ve seen Edstrom manhandle not only junior prospects his own age but have it physically hold at the SHL level as well. On one play that stood out to us… a player tried to aggressively shove him off his centerline in-front of the net during a box out, and not only did he not budge, but the intended push off actually sent the other prospect flying as he bounced back off of him. Some players need time to physically mature and develop the strength necessary to be labeled as “hockey strong”, but Edstrom is already there.
His strength and frame give him the foundation for his hard skill elements that he needs in order to be an effective player. His game is based around his ability to be a net front presence, and his ability to set up low to high danger passes from below the goal line. -NHL Draft Black Book
Despite some tool limitations, Edstrom has some upside as a powerful bottom-six center with good passing ability and physicality. –DobberProspects.com
Edstrom is sneakily good in almost every facet of the game. He’s made in the mould of a big two-way centre but also provides a lot of value offensively and – at times – even in transition. He’s also a solid distributor of the puck, both in the offensive zone and on the breakout. He supports his defencemen down low, reads passing lanes, and covers space while handling his puck battles with care.-EliteProspects.com
There’s several reasons he’s been inefficient off the rush, despite having an above average skating base and decent playmaking ability. The first reason is regarding his inability to switch up his skating gears. He telegraphs his skating speed by failing to accelerate or decelerate at the appropriate times, which limits his time and space. The second reason is that he fails to incorporate deception within the initial phase of his play creation. He usually fails to generate postural fakes even though he can move off his centerline, and he fails to use weight shifts or look offs nearly as often as he should.
The last reason his shooting potential at speed has been limited, is due to the fact that mechanically he’s below average. A player who has below average mechanics, who inadvertently telegraphs their intentions make it a lot easier for the defense to block his shot attempts or get a stick on the puck before he can send it off his blade. -NHL Draft Black Book
David Edstrom, EP's No. 42-ranked prospect, could leverage his quickness, off-puck instincts, and defensive acumen to become one of the better two-way centers from the #2023NHLDraft.
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) June 16, 2023