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2016 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Gustaf Westlund

Credit: Stephen Slade

Gustaf Westlund

Position: Center
2015-16 Team: The Gunnery
League: NE Prep
Hometown: Djursholm, Sweden
Shoots: Left
Height/Weight: 5'11"/159
DOB: 12/12/97
College Commitment: Michigan (2017)

Gustaf Westlund is an intriguing prospect as this was his first season playing in North America. The Parisian-born Swede came over to attend prep school in the U.S. and helped lead The Gunnery to a New England Prep School Elite Tournament Championship.

The left-shot center is a true athlete who oozes potential. He's also a very good soccer play, having played on the school's varsity team in the fall, which prevented him from playing Tier I in the split-season. He, instead, played for Yale Midget Hockey's Tier II team.

It's absurd to compare anyone to Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel, but there are similarities in his skill set to that of the former BU Terrier. Westlund is a very good skater. He has a long, smooth stride that appears effortless. He can really get going quickly and seems to have that extra gear.

He has a long reach for a player that isn't very tall. He does a good job pulling the puck back before quickly releasing a hard wrist shot on net.

The one part of his game that is underrated is his passing. He makes good passes, has above average vision and has a soft touch. He's a good center that played alongside Cornell recruit Cam Donaldson for most of the prep season.

His numbers (10-18-28 in 31 GP) in prep hockey weren't that great, but that has more to do with his adjustment and learning curve to playing the North American style. It doesn't take long watching Westlund to realize the upside in his game.

He's uncommitted at the moment, but is being heavily sought after by many Division I schools, including Providence and Michigan. If there was one weakness in his game, it's his lack of strength, but that will come as he fills into his frame.

Update: Westlund committed to the University of Michigan on April 12, 2016.

Draft Projection: When selecting Westlund, a team isn't picking the player he is now. The organization will be drafting an athletic player with above average tools it believes will continue to progress. Because of this, it's hard to project where he will go in the draft. One team might value his ceiling at a much higher level than the rest. A fourth or fifth round selection is where he will most likely land.