Swedish defenseman Jacob Moverare is a player on the rise heading into the NHL Draft. Moverare has long been considered one of the better defensemen in his age group in Sweden, but to start the year, he didn't draw a ton of Draft attention because he's not a very flashy player. But after some impressive international performances, and a debut in Sweden's top pro league, Moverare has continued to rise up Draft boards and is now a near guarantee to be selected this year.
Player: Jacob Moverare
Height: 6'2" Weight: 192 lbs.
Stats: 41 games, 5 goals, 16 assists, 21 points, +3
Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 12th among European skaters
What I Like:
-Quiet, reliable game
Looking back over my game notes, I have very little written about Moverare. That's not necessarily the worst thing with a defensive defenseman like him though. He doesn't make very many flashy plays, but he also doesn't end up with many big minuses either. He's a steady defender that you can really depend on to give you good consistent defense shift after shift.
It isn't always the most noticeable, but Moverare does make a lot of nice little plays to win pucks and move them effectively up the ice. He's got great awareness and hockey sense to avoid pressure. In this clip, Moverare out-angles a forward behind the net to win a puck then makes a nice little pass behind the net to a teammate for a breakout. Shortly after, the puck comes to him in the neutral zone and he anticipates his next move, making a quick spin as soon as the puck reaches him and moves the puck up the ice.
What I Don't Like:
-Lack of mobility
The biggest knock on Moverare is that he's not an elite skater. His straight line skating, lateral movement, and first step are all average to below average. It hasn't really affected his play yet because he's smart enough to compensate for it with good positioning, but there is definitely some question about whether his skating will hold up against the best skaters in the world.
Moverare is a decent puck-mover in his own end and in the neutral zone, but he's not a player that is going to produce a lot of offense on his own. That lack of offense limits his upside a bit.
There seems to be a wide range of opinions on Moverare with the most positive being ISS, who places him 29th overall in their final list. Everybody else has him closer to the middle rounds of the Draft. I currently have Moverare ranked in the third to fourth round range. I like him as a player, but the skating ability scares me enough that I'm reticent to place him too high. As for where he actually goes in the Draft, I'm not sure I have a good feel for that. I don't think he goes in the first two rounds though.
There's not going to be anything exciting here, but with a few more years of development, Moverare could develop into a very reliable second or third pairing defenseman capable of playing on the penalty and eating up a lot of minutes with smart, effective defense.