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Skilled, intense Janmark a wanted man

Published Monday, July 1, 2013, 6:54 p.m. under 2013 Draft Coverage
Mattias Janmark

Mattias Janmark (Credit: aikhockey.se)

A year ago, no one wanted Mattias Janmark in the NHL draft. That was hardly the case this time around.

Although the 6-foot-1, 191-pound center didn’t get any media attention going into the draft, word is he was sought after by a number of teams around the league and the Detroit Red Wings made sure they got him first, grabbing him in the third round, 79th overall, on Sunday.

Janmark, who turns 21 in December, put himself on the map in his first full Swedish Elite League season, finishing tied for 24th in overall scoring and second on AIK with 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in 55 games.

“He was on my list for last year’s draft but I chose not to take him for whatever reason and he just took off this year,” said Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson. “I knew for sure I wasn’t going to get him in a late round this year.”

The Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks are believed to be among the other teams who had heavy interest in Janmark, who was one of four Swedish Elite League rookie-of-the-year nominees.

Janmark, who had 61 points in 40 games at the J-20 SuperElit level back in 2011-12, projects as a scoring-line player at the NHL level and is closer to realizing his potential than most players drafted outside of the first round on Sunday.

“He’s confident with the puck, his speed his fine, his hands are very good, and he’s tenacious — he chases the puck all the time,” Andersson said. “He’s not physical, but he chases the puck. If he loses it, he chases it and gets it right back. If he doesn’t have the puck, his feet are always moving.”

Janmark is held in such high regard in Sweden he got a look with the national team in exhibition play at the end of the season. If he gets stronger next season, he could have a shot at representing Sweden at the IIHF world championship.

Not only is he skilled, but his intensity also gets high marks from Andersson.

“I like what he can do with the puck, but that goes along with the fact that he plays with intensity all the time,” Andersson said. “Those two things, that he’s good with the puck and plays with good intensity — that’s what I like.”

Andersson said he considers Janmark as good as some of the best Swedish prospects taken in the 2012 draft, including Anaheim Ducks pick and Elite League rookie of the year William Karlsson.

Janmark needs plenty of work on strength and conditioning and makes big gains in those areas, there’s no telling how good he could be. Andersson said Janmark loves hockey but has never taken it all that seriously until the past year.

“He’s always just played for the fun of hockey,” Andersson said. “But now he’s realizing, ‘Hey, I could be something.’ Last summer is the first time he’s ever started to train and I think he’s going to take it to another level this summer.”

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11 Comments
  1. YVR says:

    If what is written (above) about Janmark-Nylen, Andersson has found another good player. Strange, with the skills and tenacity he shows, that not more teams were after him. Possibly, others were waiting for late rounds to select him. I like this kind of prospect so will watch his progress with interest.

  2. ScottD says:

    One can only hope he either lives up to or exceeds expectations. You never know about those guys who get passed over or get drafted late in the draft. Maybe people just didn’t really know what to expect from this kid.

  3. Patrick Johnson says:

    Since he was not on the ISS rankings, I think it is presumable that most if not all other teams did not know about him… similar to Datsyuk…

  4. Joe says:

    Janmark was on Central scoutings list earlier in the season. Being a -92 birthday though, surely not a guy all teams had on their list.

  5. YVR says:

    @PJ…are the Wings the only team that has scouts in Sweden? Of course not, so the answer is the other teams had him in later rounds. Holland allows, every year, Andersson a long-shot pick. Last year it was big ol’Rasmus, Time will tell amigo. Stay out of the sun in Cuba.

  6. J. says:

    The guy played in the highest professional league in Sweden. Every scout under the sun watched him play last year.

  7. Patrick Johnson says:

    I REALIZE THAT YVR… I AM NOT THE DUMB ASS YOU OBVIOUSLY THINK I AM…..

  8. Patrick Johnson says:

    He may be a monster, and I am hoping and believe that he could reach that potential… I am aware that other teams have scouts in Sweden (probly all 30 teams), what I was saying is that more than likely every team including ISS scouts had him going much much later than round 3. Could we have waited? we will never know… Bertuzzi would have probly been there in round 6…

  9. John P says:

    Anderson is someone who still has my trust as far as his evaluation of a player. Seems like teams don’t want to take a player passed over because they are a year older. Some teams rated Mantha a little lower because he was a year older. It doesn’t make sense to me, but they do it. Maybe they feel the extra year gives an age and development advantage. The Wings seemed to have targeted players more this year than before. They jumped early on almost all of them to make sure they got them. Maybe it’s because they have a new person in charge of the draft, and rookie is a rookie. I like the fact this particular kid has intensity, if the Wings lacked size in their system they also lacked intensity in a lot of their players. From the description from Anderson I love the pick.

  10. ScottD says:

    I wonder if the reason why the Wings jumped on guys early is because Jim Nill is in Dallas now and may have been targeting the same guys.

  11. Patrick Johnson says:

    thats the best excuse I have heard thus far… he did work in our offices until well after the post season started… it would make sense



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