2018 NHL Draft Profile: Adam Boqvist

adam boqvist
Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Check out our other reviews: Oliver WahlstromQuinn Hughes, Brady Tkachuk.

Continuing our review of some of the kids that may be available to the Rangers to pick at #9 overall, we look at defenseman Adam Boqvist, a Swedish defenseman. This year is a fantastic draft for defensemen, with five of the top-ten picks projected to be blue liners. Boqvist is one of those kids that falls in the 7-10 range in the first round.

Boqvist currently plays in Sweden’s J20 league, so he’s not playing in the SHL with Rasmus Dahlin (something else that sets Dahlin apart from everyone else). Even if he’s not Dahlin, he’s still your prototypical Swedish defenseman, and when in doubt, always draft a Swede.

Boqvist’s greatest strength is his skating and agility. It’s simply amazing how you can’t find a Swede who doesn’t skate well. His speed is solid, his acceleration is top notch, he can shift and transition on his skates well, can move laterally. He’s just very fluid on the ice, very fun to watch. His acceleration and top speed make him a danger on the rush, but also help him get back on the back check.

As you can imagine, Boqvist’s best strengths are in the offensive zone. That doesn’t mean he stinks in the defensive zone, but he’s at his finest when he’s controlling the play and the puck. Again like most Swedes, everything slows down for him, and he makes the simple play. On a team that makes the fancy pass too much, a defenseman that can make the easy, simple play to create space.

It’s plays like this that make him an asset in the offensive zone. He knows when to pinch, how to keep a cycle going, and can read plays well to put himself and others in positions to score. His vision is great, again like most Swedes. He has a solid shot too, so teams can’t back off him on the point. He, like Hughes, can be a potential top pairing defenseman on his offensive abilities alone.

In the defensive end, he uses his positioning and stick work to break up rushes and set up the transition game. It’s rare that you see his skates stop, which is when defensemen get burned. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t get beat around the boards, will keep you to the outside and slow you down. As with every defensive prospect, his game will need constant evolution to make and stick in the NHL.

One of his current weaknesses is the physical game, but that makes sense since he is only 170 lbs and 18 years old. Strength can be worked on. The big thing to note is that while he may not win every physical battle, he is fearless and willing to engage. When the physical strength comes, I wouldn’t expect this to be a weakness for long.

Based on the comments about Hughes, I need to say this: Just because a defenseman is good in the offensive zone, doesn’t mean he is bad in the defensive zone. Boqvist has elite offensive abilities, and is still strong in the defensive zone. He’s more offensive than Hughes, but Hughes is likely more balanced.

I like Boqvist, and he might be the second most offensively talented defenseman in the draft. There are legitimate concerns about his ability to adjust defensively, but he is very clearly the highest ceiling defenseman in the non-Dahlin class. For a team that lacks elite talent, if he’s the best player available at 9, he’s a great add.

Show More
  • Now we are finally looking at guys who may actually be available at the 9th pick. Another strong young defenseman that might allow us to move someone on the big club later. Obviously needs a year in the minors to adjust to the NHL game and to put on 20 lbs of muscle.

    • Will need years in Sweden to fill out and learn how to defend. Under the CBA, you don’t have to make a bona fide offer to Euros for 4 years; he’ll be one of those types.

      He makes John Glimour seem like Zdeno Chara in multiple ways.

    • I would be shocked if he’s there at 9 bro.

      Next best D man after Dahlin, and Dahlin is so good that that statement is not a bad statement.

  • I think I like Boqvist a bit more than Hughes , based on his ceiling seemingly being higher. I would take either one, but Boqvist over Hughes if that’s the choice. Hughes is a lefty and Boqvist is a righty. I lean towards taking a Right D as they seem harder to find. These 2 are pretty close to me in comparison. We would do just fine with either one.

    • Boqvist prefers playing on the left so he can get his one timer off from the top of the circle. When he’s on the right, he likes jumping in deep like a poor man’s PK Subban and coming out the left side to take a quick wrister.

      On either side, he can’t play defence. Hughes actually can.

  • Yeah, top rated wingers will be gone by pick 9. that leaves best talent at that point as defenseman and centers so I see the rangers getting a ‘D’, since we now have enough centers. Maybe in late round 1 we grab a couple of wingers?

  • We should just do a mock draft here and see who gets the NYR pick correct. The winner gets the ability to give up to 10 “thumbs up or thumbs down” ratings for a month. That plus the ability to say “I told you so”.

    • Salmerc

      Ranger selection as is…my prediction
      9- Dobson
      26- Kaut
      30- Ty Dellandrea my hope but McBain
      31- Ty Dellandrea my hope but Bokk

    • Floor would be Hartford, but as I’ve written below, even if he hit his ceiling, he would take so long to get there that you’d get him for a limited time before he hit UFA. You’d have to do some serious math and project, but from his draft year to his year 28, you would get a lot more production out of other players in his expected range before you would get it out of him.

      Who’s getting more points, him or Joe Veleno?
      Him or Barrett Hayton?
      Him or Joel Farabee?

  • He won’t be around at 9….might be gone at 4…great pick for Ottawa but not so great pick for us. Perfect fit for him is in Edmonton. He’ll be magical there.

    He is not good for us because he is not a set piece to build around…pointing to Ottawa and Karlsson. He needs players around him to blossom but if he is your centerpiece he’ll falter

    • Who do you see as centerpieces in this draft because like a lot of drafts there aren’t many — despite the great depth of this draft. I think one starts with the first two picks, Dahlin and Svechnikov … but after that it gets a bit murky. Sure there are other kids who could become a centerpiece type of player, but they could also just as easily end up as no more than real good players.

      • Let’s remember that while these are all great prospects, none have shined while wearing an NHL sweater yet. They will all need to modify their game to fit the NHL style. Some a little, some a lot.

        • Of course, that’s a given for any player regardless of age if they haven’t actually played in the NHL.

      • Wahlstrom and Bouchard….but centerpiece can hopefully be Jack Hughes next year if we are fortunate.
        As this draft ranking proves those meaningless points costs us…pride hurt us here
        We need to trade into this draft 12 to 15 range
        1st round
        9- Wahlstrom if not Dobson
        12-15- If Dobson then either Hayton or Kotkeniemi if Wahlstrom then Wilde
        26- Kaut or Bokk
        30/31- Dellandrea
        2nd round
        1st pick- Lundkvist or McBain
        2nd pick- Groulx or Ylonen
        3rd round
        1st- Kotkov
        2nd- Curtis Hall
        4th round
        Kody Clark or Riley Sutter if Clark is gone
        5th round
        Riley Sutter should be available here at round 5 but worth a shot at 4 if Clark is gone

        this will be a dream should it happen

          • Hiya Fotiu….no I am not…watched him at the U-18…wasn’t impressed…Serron Noel did there are better picks at 9….he won’t be around at 26….Now if Miller falls to round 2…different story

          • He is a big kid, what about 6-4, 6-5 and over 200 lbs. Later round type of guy for sure, but I wouldn’t rule him out!!!!!!

  • I see fits….unless Wahlstrom falls
    Centerpiece Wahlstrom
    Fits-Dobson, Hayton, Kotkeniemi, Kaut and Dellandrea
    Depth-Lundkvist, Groulx, McBain, Olofsson, Kotkov, Curtis Hall

    Trade back into 1st 12 -15-Kotkeniemi, Hayton or Wilde

    Even Hughes isn’t a fit….we need right handed shots both on D and forwards
    Rangers are in a need mode not best available unless it is Svechnikov or Dahlin

    My dream
    1st round
    Wahlstrom if gone Dobson
    trade-Wilde if Dobson is our pick at 9 Kotkeniemi or Hayton
    2nd round
    McBain or Lundkvisy
    Olofsson or Grloux
    Kody Clark or Riley Sutter

  • Devon McAvoy is the sleeper pick in this draft IMO. Kid has great hands, double vision, and the brute strength to kick it into overdrive. It’s a hatless decision. Could be a steal if he drops to the 3rd or 4th.

  • I’ve seen Boqvist play live and on TV multiple times and the nicest thing I can write is this: From the opponent’s blue line in, he’s the 4th most dangerous player in the draft. He’s more than willing to jump into the play, he has no problem setting up in the Ovie spot and launch his shot. He has fast hands and mind, his passes are crisp and accurate.

    With that out of the way, let’s get real: He’s a 75 foot player. He can’t defend, has little interest in doing it and isn’t even good at bringing the puck up. I’ve seen him time and time again have zero gap control on entry, doesn’t play angles or get steamrolled when he does, the other D is the guy battling in the corners while he doesn’t cover either post or passing lane. Can’t box out or lift sticks, doesn’t move his feet in his own end, is a puck watcher. When the puck gets on his stick in his own end, he treats it like a live grenade. Any sort of forecheck and he becomes a turnover machine. This is all in J20, his few turns against men were comical.

    He might be the next Erik Karlsson, but Karlsson is a 49%(and I’m being generous) GF% at 5v5 or ES. High event hockey that is a net negative beyond selling tickets. Boqvist couldn’t play against men on two levels, even in an environment where they can dress 8 D and super shelter him to capitalize on his 75 foot game. In J20 top 10, had 3g, 3a in 8 games; was on for 10gf, also on for 9ga. High event, ultimately net neutral to your team *in his best light*.

    He is so slight, he will take years to fill out to a dependable playing weight(even accounting for his + skill.) When you put that and his not even marginal D skills, you could blow through his ELC without him ever dressing for you. He could be as bad as a group 6 UFA or waiver claim his development could be that slow. In his best light, where do you draft a player who gives you 4 years of NHL service before he hits UFA, even if that 4 years is above average(if he cured all his deficiencies?) I would think teens or late 1st round is where the risks account for the potential.

    And this is all not accounting for his injury history.

    Two concussions this season, at least two knee injuries where he missed ice time(I saw him in December where he looked like he blew his PCL with 5 minutes left in the 2nd, couldn’t put weight on it; came back halfway through the 3rd and scored a goal and dressed(but didn’t play) for the men’s side an hour later.

    To sum: a guy who can’t play D at all whose offensive upside can’t make up for it.

    I hope there’s more than a few fools making the draft calls ahead of Gorton so he has a shot at a guy who can be a dependable player for a long time, not this guy.

  • Why are so many people enamored with Smurfs, I’d avoid him like the a smelly pile of pig crap!

    He would never be picked by us, as JG stated, he wants a team that will be hard to play against, and this kid would never fall into that type of player!!!!!!!!

    • Because nobody does YouTube highlight reels of defenders standing around away from play filing their nails.

      As for a Hughes/Boqvist comparison: With Hughes you might be getting 97% of Boqvist’s O, but 200% of his D(this is in a world where you can multiply zero.)

    • No Walt, most people are enamored with talent and speed … if that comes in a smaller package, so be it — it’s more acceptable in the modern age NHL as opposed to pre-1st lockout NHL.

      • yes, exactly.

        I said it yesterday, if all a D man can do is defend or try to defend, then they will not be in the league for the long-term.

        • If you can’t defend, you better be putting up obscene numbers. Boqvist doesn’t even qualify for that compared to Merkley.

          • How many NHL D men are true, good defenders? I don’t think there are that many. Doughty is probably at the top of the list.

          • We have a kid coming up for us that can, Lindgren, you’ll be pleased with him………..

          • Love Lindgren Walt, but guess what, he can SKATE.

            I don’t care how a guy defends when he’s already stationery in his own zone. I want to see a guy defend when he’s in the neutral zone and a forward has a full head of steam coming at them.

            You can’t defend that unless you can either skate or have unbelievably good positioning. Hardly any D men in the NHL have the latter.

          • Tony

            If you read my posts, I always say that I like bigger d-men who are skilled, can skate, and have some grit. This is the reason the Lindgren kid excites me the way he does. So does the Hajek kid, and the Rykov kid, other players who have all the skills I look for in a d-man. I don’t want soft, slick highly skilled players who are one dimensional, and can’t defend. These type of players may excite, and score, but give up twice the number of goals that they score for their teams!!!!!!!!!!

          • Really hoping Lindgren can blossom to be our version of Josh Manson, or Josh Manson Lite in any case. Fingers crossed. That said, it needs to be recognized at this point: many of the biggest defenders in the NHL right now simply cannot keep up with the pace. Manson himself was no guarantee; drafted in the sixth round, and took time to develop. I think that type of trajectory is going to become more common for bigger defenders who need to work on their skating.

            A lot of the bigger defenders in the league are still monsters in the slot, but that makes them specialists just the same. The Mansons that can hang with the speed well enough and also are monsters are the exception, not the rule. Anyone holding out for the return to defenders being 6’3″ 220 on the regular is in for a rough go of it for the foreseeable future, methinks. Very few of those guys can keep up, and as (I believe) Dave recently said – or to similar effect – you can’t hit who you can’t catch.

          • Walt, I didn’t mean to say that I was responding to something you said about skating ability, sorry about the confusion.

            I was just emphasizing that if a D man has one quality then it better be skating to be able to maintain longevity in the NHL. I like the new D men that have come in.

            Egelstein, if we get a “Josh Manson” then we should be absolutely thrilled.

          • OEL is a minus 300 every year, do you want him on the Rangers? I do.

            And I also believe that NHL D men are beneficiaries of their team’s forwards. Pitt, TB, Caps, Preds, all the top teams have the puck so the pressure is taken off of their back ends, meaning that they have less time to defend because their team has the puck.

            It’s simple, the best defense is your offense.

      • Tanto

        Give me a larger player who has skills, and clears the slot, I’ll take them by the dozen. How many times have we seen our defenders do such a thing? The only one who did it was Smith, and he plays in the AHL for us. Sorry, I don’t want any Karlsson types, who never make contact with an offensive player in the slot, but he can skate. Guys like that give up more than they score. I’m not looking for goons, how many times have I said so, but given a choice, give me size with skill, and a load of grit over these little guys, thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Tanto

        On a side note, have you seen the size of the defenses of the Jets, Preds, Vegas, and Tampa, enough said my friend!!!!!!!!!

        It appears that all the fancy pants, no contact defenders are pretty much out of the PO’s, while the likes of Big Buff, Trouba, etc are running the show………….You take your smurfs, I’ll take my Buffs any day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Tanto

        On a side note, would you pass on a guy like Zedano Chara because he isn’t the best skater, but defends like hell? Geeeee he only had a 20 year career so far!!!!!!!!!

    • Should have added it’s a bit less of a detriment nowadays … you can’t be afraid to draft a kid who is an inch or two shorter if he’s long on talent and skill.

      • You still have to be able to play the position. It doesn’t matter if you’re Boqvist or Braydon Coburn. If you’re smaller, you have to be able defend in different ways, like Hughes does.

        Boqvist can’t do any of that.

        You look at his U18 partner, Adam Ginning. Nothing flashy, plays a low event game, but with good players his positive events increase while going against better players his negative events increase at a lesser rate. Even then, his negative ones are less than Boqvist.

        I wouldn’t take him in the 1st round, but he’s a guy who will be in the league longer than Boqvist will and eat minutes while not getting scored upon as much.

        • Ginning also spent most of the season playing for the men’s team in Linkoping, something Boqvist couldn’t do.

          In case you haven’t noticed, not a big fan of Boqvist. Heard the name, saw him play and saw a lot of good things, but a lot more things I didn’t like; some are fixable, some aren’t.

          You can look at it as an old school “hockey guy” or a new school stats nerd; either way I just don’t get it and I still haven’t read a compelling reason as to why he’s rated so highly. Then again, he has been sliding in a lot of rankings.

  • No Swedish players in the top 20 on the NHL top scorer list. When was the last time Sweden won at the World Juniors? So yes they develop good hockey players, but not always the best in the world. Boquist is nifty, but a disaster in his own zone.

    Let someone else draft him.

    • I would take Dahlin over 25 of the 31 best defencemen in the league *right now*. But he’s sui generis.

  • “Rick Nash would be open to continuing his tenure with the Bruins. The impending free agent told Matt Kalman of NHL.com that he’d consider a return to Boston. “It was disappointing with having the concussion and having some effects during it and only playing a certain amount of games and then coming back for the playoffs,” Nash said Wednesday. “But everything was positive.”

    To me this is good news because we then can pursue our plans without Rick being included. He is a good man, good player, but has seen his better days, and has a long concussion history. I wish him well, and good health from here on, but I’m glad that he is considering playing for Boston, and not us!!!!!!!!

    • I never make too much of what the players say in these scenarios. He wouldn’t say anything else than just that, at this time and in his position. If the price is right, I have no issues with Nash coming back for a few years. I also won’t be heartbroken if he doesn’t come back, and his price probably does get too high if he really hits FA and isn’t talking with the Rangers under the table first.

    • If Nash does not come here it’s because the Rangers chose Kovy over him, not because he prefers Boston over the Rangers. The Rangers may not be giving Nash a choice to come back here with Kovy presumably coming here.

  • Back to top button