Nils Hoglander has a fun name. Let’s just start right there. It’s fun. It’s neat. It’s different. And after all of the excitement over Cale “Kale” Makar, how can you not like a prospect with a fun name?
My guy really brought a head of kale to the game lmao pic.twitter.com/OwBwFOxesl— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) April 18, 2019
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about Hoglander. He’s a Swedish born left winger. He comes in at 5’9” and 185 pounds making him a bit on the small side. As we’ve seen with the Lightning though, small size in a forward isn’t a problem. He’s got a lot of speed and is a hard worker on the ice.
Even at 18 years old, Hoglander has quite a bit of professional experience already. In 2016-17, at 16 years old, he played 24 games in Allsvenskan, the Swedish second league. In those 24 games, he recorded five goals and eight points for AIK. They finished fifth in the league and lost to BIK Karlskoga for the right to play a Qualification game for promotion to the SHL. He returned again in 2017-18 to play 34 games with AIK and recorded three goals and seven points. They finished third in Allsvenskan, but again failed to win promotion.
Additionally, over those two seasons, Hoglander also played in Sweden’s junior leagues J18 Elit and SuperElit. He recorded five goals and seven points over 11 J18 Elit games and added 16 goals and 30 points over 34 games in SuperElit. He also played in the U17 World Hockey Challenge in 2016-17, but failed to record a point in six games. He played for Sweden in the U18 World Junior Championships in 2017-18, and failed to record a point in seven games.
This past season, Hoglander was able to move up into the SHL with Rogle BK. Over 50 games, he put in seven goals and 14 points overall. He also played internationally for Team Sweden in eight games recording four goals and seven points. He was not a member of Team Sweden for the U20 World Junior Championships and was too old to play in the U18 World Junior Championships.
Hoglander’s 14 points in the SHL were fifth most by a U19 player in the SHL this past season. Three of the four players ahead of him were drafted in the 2018 NHL entry draft with Dominik Bokk going in the 1st round and Filip Hallander and Albin Eriksson both going in the second round. The leader of the group, Samuel Fagemo, was eligible for the draft, but went undrafted in 2018.
How does Hoglander fit in the Lightning organization? His speed is certainly an asset that the Lightning like in their forward prospects. Couple that with his work ethic and quick hands and he has the offensive skills to be successful as a middle six forward in the NHL. Lauren Kelly in her NHL Draft Rankings for Raw Charge listed Mats Zuccarello as a style comparison for Hoglander.
The Lightning have a lot of forward prospects, but the team must continuously replenish that supply. You never know how many of them will work out or flame out as their development continues. Since Hoglander would be drafted out of Sweden, the Lightning would control his rights for four years and he would be eligible to play in the AHL immediately if he and the team wanted him playing there right away. He’s also a December birth date, making him one of the older players of the draft.
Nils Hoglander Stats
|2013-2014||Clemensnäs HC J18||J18 Elit||2||0||0||0||0|
|Clemensnäs HC J18||J18 Elit||35||8||11||19||26|
|2015-2016||Timrå IK U16||U16 Elit||-||-||-||-||-||Playoffs QC||5||4||5||9||6|
|Timrå IK U16||U16 SM||8||10||6||16||4|
|Timrå IK J18||J18 Elit||16||3||5||8||12|
|Sweden U16 (all)||International-Jr||3||1||2||3||0|
|2016-2017||AIK J18||J18 Elit||10||4||2||6||43|
|AIK J18||J18 Allsvenskan||1||0||0||0||6|
|Sweden U17 (all)||International-Jr||18||2||5||7||20|
|2017-2018||AIK J18||J18 Elit||1||1||0||1||2|
|Sweden U18 (all)||International-Jr||16||1||0||1||22|
|2018-2019||Rögle BK J20||SuperElit||0||0||0||0||0||Playoffs||1||1||0||1||0|
|Sweden U20 (all)||International-Jr||8||4||3||7||4|
2018-19 SHL Highlights. #21 in Green
NHL Combine Interview
Four Nations U20 Tournament from August 2018