Injury issues, which kept the Stockholm native from being part of his nation's first world junior championship triumph in 1981, also kept Aberg somewhat out of the spotlight among top Europe-based prospects. There is no ignoring that the winger held his own as an 18-year-old in the Elitserien, counting eight goals and 15 points across 47 games for Djugardens. Keep in mind that came while playing just more than 10 minutes per game. With Djugardens demoted to the second-tier Allsvenskan for next season, Aberg figures on getting ample time to fine-tune his game before migrating to North American.
"I'm signed for two more years with Djugardens and I think that's the best for me," says Aberg, who is NHL Central Scouting's sixth-ranked European skater. "More ice time, more time on the power play ... it was tough to go down, but more so for the older guys."
Teams will have to keep in mind Aberg is relatively aged for a first-time draftee since he actually turned 18 last September. However, he has a NHL-calibre shot which draft experts such as Corey Pronman believe will allow him to sustain an above-average shooting percentage in the NHL. There are valid concerns about how steep a learning curve Aberg faces with his ability to set up teammates and his defensive game. However, it's not as if teams expect their draft picks to arrive at their first developmental camp fully formed. Aberg's offensive abilities make him a potential high-ceiling pick, likely somewhere in the second 10 picks in the first round of Friday's NHL draft.
"I try to play pretty creative," says Aberg, who is average-sized at 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds. "Take a lot of shots and use my speed."Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Pontus Aberg, Djugardens IF