NHL Rookie Watch: Jonas Brodin – Minnesota Wild

USATSI_8367814_154224518_lowresJONAS BRODIN Scouting Reports

Date of birth: 07/12/1993
Age: 19
Pos: D
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 170
Shoots: Left
Drafted: 1st round, 10th overall in 2011 by Minnesota


Jonas Brodin is the most under-rated player being discussed for a Calder Trophy nomination. His point totals are less than impressive; he has only notched 3 assists, and zero goals. However, he has stepped into a top pairing position that has the 7th lowest GA in the league, and is averaging 21-25 TOI a game (second only to his D partner Ryan Suter) without getting shifts on the PP or PK. He doesn’t get nervous, takes on players like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Oshie and shuts them down, and managed to calm Suter down enough so that he resembled the player Minnesota paid $98 million for. Brodin is the youngest defensemen in the league and every team that has played against him has walked away saying that he plays like a 10 year veteran. Has it been mentioned that he’s only 19?


This kid could skate his way out of a mortgage. Brodin’s got a ton of offensive upside, but he’s not as flashy as a guy like Erik Karlsson. Think more in terms of Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The skating ability is the first thing to jump out when talking about Brodin, but the Swede has a bag of tricks that you wouldn’t probably expect. The job he does when defending 1-on-1 for example, is pretty much flawless. A guy his size is in trouble against bigger guys, but that’s hardly the case with Brodin. His body positioning, stick-work and timing when he goes after the guy with the puck is nothing short of perfect. Once he starts skating up the ice, he rarely makes a bad decision and that’s not something you can normally say about a 19-year-old defenseman.

Brodin is just a complete package that’s going to get better every day. Some people have compared him to Nicklas Lidstrom, and the similarities are there. He’s not near that level yet, but the skill set and potential is eerily similar to the former Detroit defenseman. Brodin is also the biggest reason that Ryan Suter got his game going with the Wild after a rocky start. Once the two were paired together, Suter’s game started to improve instantly. But will Brodin win the Calder? Nope. Will he even be a candidate? No. The offensive numbers will not be as sexy as Justin Schultz’s, and rarely has an all-around defensman like Brodin won the Calder.


The Good: To say Brodin is advanced for his age may be an understatement, whether it be as a legitimate top-four defenseman at 18 on a decent SEL team, or being leaned on at the World Championships for Sweden to check players like Evgeni Malkin, he is a player who has a tremendous hockey brain and is way ahead of the usual development curve. His hockey sense is evident with his great defensive reads, and his sense allows him to be dangerous offensively, too. Brodin sees the ice well, makes plays under pressure, can quarterback a power play, and knows when to jump into the rush. He’s also a high-end skater who moves as well going backwards as he does going forward.

The Bad: Brodin is not really a physical player and could stand to use the body more. He also needs a lot more strength. His puck skills are okay and he can look a little rigid when trying to handle the puck.

Projection: He has the tools to be a decent first-pairing defenseman.


The Wild’s 19-year-old defenseman is second only to the much ballyhooed Justin Schultz in ice time per game amongst rookies. He doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to offense. At the 2011-12 World Junior tournament, he recorded four points in six games and during the most recent lockout, he had four points in nine AHL contests before breaking his clavicle. After 15 NHL games, Brodin has only three points despite playing the majority of his shifts with veteran Ryan Suter.

His defensive play and skating ability will make him a stud in real life. As for his fantasy potential, he may grow into a more offensive role, but it will take a couple of years if at all. He is more likely to turn out to be a Swedish Jay Bouwmeester, who always leaves fantasy owners wanting more.

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Video: Jonas Brodin goes top shelf past Varlamov to net first NHL goal 3/14/13


Mark is the NHL editor for Sports City and myNHLtraderumors.com. Lives north of Toronto in the snow-belt, not a big fan of snow. Despises lockouts.

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