After taking three defensemen in their first four picks of the 2021 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks shifted their focus back to forward by selecting center Victor Stjernborg out of Sweden, a player who was projected to go as high as the second-round.
And if you think you know how to pronounce this no you don’t pic.twitter.com/IYjcVKiojT— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 24, 2021
Stjernborg is a 5-foot-10, 202 pound center who played 30 games in the SHL with Växjö Lakers HC last season at the age of 17. He has only four points (2 G, 2 A) in that span playing predominantly on the lower lines, but he held his own in a tough men’s league which is nothing to dismiss. Stjernborg also played 19 games with Växjö Lakers HC J20 league, amassing 17 points (9 G, 8 A) in 18 games.
Here’s a quick scouting report on Stjernborg from the Elite Prospects 2021 NHL Draft Guide which mentions how he plays a style of hockey that translates to the NHL:
Stjernborg has one of the biggest and best motors in the draft. He can run up and down the ice, cover its width a few times, and still have energy for one last rush, one last desperate backcheck or race to a loose puck before a change. He plays with control. He applies himself in his every defensive technique — angling, shot-blocking, shoulder-checking, puck-sealing, etc. His mature choice of plays and the way he executed them, with pace, energy, and a safety-first mentality made it easy to picture him in an NHL jersey already.
Here’s another from Brandon Share-Cohen who highlights Stjernborg’s worth ethic and strong defensive foundation:
A forward who can play either center or left-wing, Stjernborg has a high motor and plays an intense brand of hockey. His ability to impact a game comes from his strong work on the forecheck and, though it may sound like a cliche, his willingness to go to the dirty areas of the ice. He isn’t afraid of driving the net, heading into the corners, or working down low along the boards and has an active stick that helps him force turnovers in all three zones.
Defensively, Stjernborg could prove to be one of the best prospects at the forward position in this draft class. His technique is immaculate and when coupling his ability to properly angle himself for hits, shot-blocks, pock-checks and the like alongside his aforementioned high-motor, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
And, finally, here’s a shift-by-shift video of Stjernborg (wearing No. 6 in white) from a game in April.