Draft Profiles: Is smooth play enough for Helge Grans?
RHD is a land of projects in the 2020 draft. Most of whom are unquestionably very talented, but will require some real work on the development side to get the best out of them.
One such player who could benefit greatly from that is Helge Grans.
Grans comes to us from the Malmö Redhawks system, where he’d been bouncing up and down his youth team and then the Redhawks Junior system, where he pretty quickly gained some interest due to just how easy the game seemingly comes to him. Grans greatest attribute by far is his skating, which is very well developed in all facets: lateral movement, edges, starting and stopping, he does it all with a calm, effortless smoothness that makes him very involved in most of the plays he’s part of: he takes advantage of space by creating more, and if there isnt much, he’ll try to make some to open up a pass, and his passing ability is very strong. Its what got Grans ample power play time and a position on the Redhawks’ scoring leaderboard.
As for rough edges, he’s got one very big one…his decision making can be absolutely infuriating.
Sometimes he’ll make the right call on pass attempts and just find an open man, and other times he will commit a turnover so egregious you wonder just what the hell he was thinking. His physicality is also very uneven: he’s willing to throw hits and battle for pucks, but much of the time he doesnt utilize any of it. He also has a reputation as someone floating in space, something that will burn you at the pro level.
Finally, there just isnt enough explosive elements to his play: he’s fast, but his acceleration isnt great. He’s a scorer with good passing, but he tends to let his teammates take the brunt of trying to find openings. He’s definitely good…but there are guys who are better at one of those two things in this draft than he is.
In short, he’s a project with a lot of promise…but with critical goals to reach with coaching: Decision making and physicality.
Grans is projected all over the map as the result of all this: Some have him going as a first rounder due to his offensive accomplishments, others see him going as late as a fourth rounder due to his clear deficiencies. If you can see the bright side and trust your development staff, theres a decent player in here somewhere who can control transition and power plays for quite awhile at the pro level.
…it just requires a lot of set up to work properly. And frankly, if he falls to Boston, I could see them seeing his frame and offensive skill and taking a chance.
6th by NHL Central Scouting among european skaters
19th by EliteProspects
35th by FutureConsiderations
39th by Mckeen’sHockey
69th by TSN’s Craig Button
Statistics incoming due to power outage. Stay tuned.