Swedish center Oskar Steen had a busy year, splitting time between Farjestad's U20 team and making his debut with the club's top pro team in the Swedish Elite League at the end of the season, while also playing over 20 games with Sweden's U18 team internationally. He's not a well-known name in North American hockey scouting circles, but but he's a hard-working forward that mixes a little skill into his game and could be a nice long-term pick for the team that selects him in this year's Draft.
Player: Oskar Steen
Team: Farjestad U20
Position: Center/Right Wing
Height: 5'9" Weight: 187 lbs.
Stats: 33 games, 8 goals, 24 assists, 32 points, +12
Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 18th among European skaters
What I Like:
Steen is only 5'9" tall, but he's really strong and not afraid of contact. He was one of the few Swedish players on their World U18 team that I thought really raised the level of his game against the more physical North American squads--who play a style more similar to what he'd see in the NHL--as opposed to against the more wide open, less physical European teams. He uses his size effectively to create space for himself with physical play and wins a lot of puck battles by being strong on the puck.
-Great shot release
Steen uses his strength to generate a plus-level shot very quickly. In this clip, he catches a pass in stride, and in one motion, fires a heavy shot to beat the goalie from distance
What I Don't Like:
The problem with a prospect that is short but strong is that there's really nowhere for him to go. Anybody can lift weights and get stronger, it's a lot tougher to get taller. And when he gets to a league where everybody is really strong, he might not be as effective.
-Lacks high-end upside
Steen is a hard worker that is going to get the most out of what he has, and while he's got some skill and scoring prowess, he's not going to be a super-flashy player that makes a lot of dazzling plays or has first line potential. Most of his points are going to come from hard work and gritty plays rather than pretty skill plays.
I'm a lot higher on Steen than most other sources. While NHL Central Scouting has him as a middle-of-the-road mid-to-late round pick, I have him late in my second round. I just think his combination of gritty play and skill, combined with his ability to handle more physical play should translate really well to the North American game. Though admittedly, ranking him that high is a prime example of why I just don't think this is a really deep draft.
Steen has the versatility to play a number of different roles at the pro level. Most likely he tops out as a hard-working bottom six guy that contributes on the penalty kill and isn't necessarily counted on for consistent scoring.