The Blackhawks landed a strong, forechecking forward in Fredrik Olofsson in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Draft. Olofsson enters our Top 25 Under 25 at No. 11 after a easy transition from the USHL to the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Position: Left winger
Birth date: May 27, 1996
Acquired via: Fourth round pick (No. 98 overall) in 2014 NHL Draft
Most recent stop:
Size: 6'2, 198 pounds
Olofsson, 20, had eight goals and nine assists in 34 games during his freshman season at UNO. The 6-foot-2, 196-pound left winger also had two goals and an assist in seven games for Sweden at the 2016 World Junior Championship. Prior to joining the Mavericks, Olofsson scored 27 goals and 60 points in 57 games for the Chicago Steel of the USHL in the 2014-15 season.
In April, Olofsson was ranked No. 22 in SB Nation's College Hockey's top NCAA prospects list:
Olofsson is still growing into his body and filling out his frame a bit, but he uses the size he has effectively to control the puck, and for a big forward, he has a surprising amount of skill with the puck. He spent much of his rookie season on Omaha's top line playing the wing alongside Austin Ortega and Jake Guentzel and helped create time and space for that duo to be so effective. Olofsson isn't likely to ever drive play, but will make a very solid, reliable second or third line winger at the pro level.
Olofsson made a smooth transition from the USHL to the college level, and another season under coach Dean Blais should elevate his defensive game as well. Blackhawks assistant general manager Norm Maciver told Scott Powers of The Athletic that Olofsson's game is favorably to another Swedish forward who was once in the Hawks' system, Joakim Nordstrom.
"Freddy had a really good season," Maciver said. "He was a big part of that team in Omaha. Freddy's game is sort of like a Joakim Nordstrom. He's a good skater. He's a really good forechecker, smart player and he's one of those guys that every shift he's a noticeable player, shift in and shift out because he competes and he's got the skating, very smart, reliable player."
What's next in 2016-17
Olofsson will play his sophomore season at UNO. He'll need to continue to work on his defensive game to live up to the Nordstrom comparison as he already exceeds on the offensive end. Following UNO's first Frozen Four appearance in 2015, the Mavericks went 18-17-1 and finished sixth in the eight-team NCHC. Olofsson along with fellow Hawks prospect Luc Snuggerud are among 20 players that return for the Mavericks next season. The Mavericks aren't expected to be a Frozen Four team in Chicago, but a trip to the postseason isn't out of the question.
Second City Hockey's Top 25 Under 25 rankings
No. 11: Fredrik Olofsson
No. 12: Chad Krys
No. 13: Erik Gustafsson
No. 14: Luke Johnson
No. 15: Tanner Kero
No. 16: Artur Kayumov
No. 17: Carl Dahlstrom
No. 18: Dennis Gilbert
No. 19: Luc Snuggerud
No. 20: Robin Norell
No. 21: Robin Press
No. 22: Dylan Sikura
No. 23: Graham Knott
No. 24: Anthony Louis
No. 25: Roy Radke
Honorable mentions: Radovan Bondra, Joni Tuulola, Mathias From, John Dahlstrom, Lucas Carlsson