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VGK Select David Edstrom (C) In 1st Round Of 2023 NHL Entry Draft

(Photo Credit: ESPN)

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. –

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

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




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  1. Emmanuel

    He kept scoring at higher levels but can he muscle his way to the front of the net. He could top off as a poor mans Igor Larionov.

    • THE hockey GOD

      igor larionov was not a big man with front of net presence, try

      try Phil Esposito instead

      “Jesus Saves
      but Esposito scores on the rebound”

  2. Vic

    He has a hockey name.

    Wild Bill will help show him the ropes.

    Wild Bill can teach him how to perform a Stanley Cup parade speech June 2025 or 2026.

  3. I still dont believe Barbashev is worth 5 million a year….he obviously had a great playoffs…and man did he capitalize on everything including getting probably at the very least a 2 million dollar pay increase from potential free agency…hope he takes his foot off the gas at least a little bit during the slog of a long regular season to be the Ivan we saw in this years playoffs…having said that….full speed ahead on bravos and kudos to the front office for moving Smith…sadly he had slowed down…had trouble putting the puck in the net…including his goal to make it 4-1…he just barely snuck that it when with a wide open top of the net he simply needed to roof it…we got younger by moving him and resigning barbashev…and now the opportunity hopefully awaits for Cotter who i hvae been a fan of since his cup of coffee 2 or is it 3 years ago??…great job by the front office!!

    • Emmanuel

      I didnt see him slowing down, I think he concentrated on D, his O stats where very good in the context of VGKs system. I like Cotter but his D is suspect, at this point. I like Barbie but look at his career stats, 1 season up, 1 season down. Reilly will be missed, mark my words.

    • THE hockey GOD


      do you think Smith was worth five mil a year ?

  4. THE hockey GODv

    “old time hockey , coach

    eddie shore
    toe blake” – hanson Brothers, slapshot.

    They will trade this no. 1 pick in a few years to get
    another established veteran player, that is there playbook. So far(t)

  5. Tim

    George McFee once said prospects are like perishable goods he has no problem moving then for more experienced players. That strategy makes sense to me let some other team develop a player then we move in make the trade for a NHL ready player. It’s the old logic the future is now some kids never develop as we know with Cody Glass so trading prospects for NHL ready players isn’t a bad idea.

  6. Jailbird

    Barby will get much more consistent under Cassidy. So will Cotter and Pavo! We have a coach with a great system and ability to teach it and have everyone buy in. Also, no official deal with Hill yet?

  7. vgk21

    The main attribute is that Barbashev is the perfect blend with Jack Eichel’s game. he is the perfect complement to that line with Jack and Marchy. THAT is what makes him a must keep situation for the Vgk f.o.

    not to even mention his great physical play, his net front hands, tipping in pucks ala pavelski, and his playoff clutch performance with 2 stanley cups with Petro as his teammate.

  8. Smith will be missed solely cause he was an Original Misfit and its sad he is gone …however he was rightly made expendable…the tradeoff for Barbeshev is a work of art by the front office…that much is a given…and when Cotter takes over and learns through his mistakes…everyone will be at peace with the fact Smith is gone!

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