Filip Forsberg

Can Filip Forsberg prove that the Nashville Predators were smart to acquire him for a proven veteran?

Overview:
Filip Forsberg is a 6’1, 194lb forward who plays for the Nashville Predators. Forsberg, born in Östervåla, Sweden, began playing professional hockey for Leksands IF, of the newly re-named Swedish Hockey League, after posting 40 points (21-19) in 36 games for Leksands J20 team in 2010-2011. Forsberg played in ten games for Leksands IF’s pro team, posting just one goal. The following year, Forsberg played in 43 games for the big club, posting 17 points (8-9) while also playing seven total games for Leksands IF’s junior teams. He was rated the top European skater by NHL Central Scouting for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. That summer, the Washington Capitals took Forsberg with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. You may look at Forsberg’s numbers from that season and think to yourself why the Capitals would take someone with just 17 points that high? It must be kept in mind that Forsberg was just 17 years old and playing against grown men so he did not get to play all that much. This past season, Forsberg totaled 33 points (15-18) in 38 games for Leksands IF on loan from the Capitals. Then, at the trade deadline in the NHL, the Washington Capitals traded Forsberg to the Nashville Predators in exchange for veteran forward Martin Erat and prospect Michael Latta. After the SHL season ended, Forsberg came over to the NHL and played in five games for the Preds getting just one assist. Forsberg has also represented Sweden in international junior tournaments. He’s played 12 games total for Sweden’s Under-18 World Junior team with a combined 13 points (9-4) as well as 12 games for their Under-20 World Junior team and a total of 6 points (3-3). For the U18 team, Forsberg has won two silver medals, a best forward award, and was the captain in his last year of eligibility. As for the U20 team, Forsberg has a silver and gold medal, was named to the All-Star team, and was the captain for Sweden in the most recent tournament.

Pros:
His 6’2 frame is very projectable. He’s a very good two-way player with room to grow on both sides. He’s responsible defensively, has good defensive instincts, but also has a great offensive game. Forsberg has a great shot with a very quick release and knows when/how to use it with the tools to become a terrific offensive player. He’s a very good stick-handler who’s also very creative and flashy and keeps defenders off-balance by being unpredictable. He’s a quality skater with good, strong strides. Forsberg’s hockey sense and knowledge of the game are first-class. Has the ability to play both wings as well as centre.

Cons:
While his frame is projectable, he needs to reach that projection. Forsberg must add size so, not only to be able to survive the physicality of NHL players, but also so he can maximize his offensive game at the top-level. Forsberg must also learn to be more consistent in his game.

2013-2014 NHL Projection:
Despite being tied for the fewest goals for per game last season, Nashville is actually crowded with forwards. Forsberg is listed as a centre on the Predators website. To me, he would be better off being used as a winger. To me, Nashville has better depth on the left side with Colin Wilson, Viktor Stalberg, Nick Spaling, and Eric Nystrom than on the right with Patric Hornqvist, Craig Smith, Matt Hendricks, and Richard Clune. They could take Clune out of the lineup and insert Forsberg as the second line right-winger playing with David Legwand and Viktor Stalberg. Going into the future, Forsberg would ideally take over for Hornqvist as the first line right-winger.

If Forsberg can find chemistry with his line-mates and doesn’t get moved around the lineup too much, he could put together a very nice season and maybe even be a dark-horse Calder candidate. Or, at the very least, help Nashville get out of the basement in goals for totals.

Follow me on Twitter, @BShaw27.

9 Responses

  1. Wes

    Forsberg definitely played on the wing in Nashville, not at center.

    Reply
    • Bradshaw Furlong

      On the Predators website, they list him as a centre. So I assumed he was used there.

      Reply
  2. Casey Jones

    Forsberg was used as a winger. He was usually centered by David Legwand and Legwand even made comments on having him as his winger (positive, of course). And I see Forsberg as a left wing. Smith will probably be a RW and no one will take over for Hornqvist. He’s one of the best scorers we’ve drafted in franchise history along with the underrated Leggy. The real future of our team is Wilson. Forsberg is a side project that we are hoping works out. Smith has value and I think he’s tradeable, most likely for an established scoring forward. I believe we can send him to the Sharks for one of their 2nd line vets. Anyways, I know that for people who don’t really follow Smashville hockey, it seems like Forsberg and Jones are the future, but the truth is, Josi and Wilson are just getting started.

    Reply
    • Bradshaw Furlong

      Like I said in my previous comment, the team’s website had him as a centre and on a couple of depth charts he was there as well. That’s why I thought he was used at that position. I’ll make corrections.

      I was going back and forth as to whether or not I should put Forsberg on the left or right side. It depends on how Colin Wilson returns and is used, truly. He’s been used as both a centre and left-winger so that could very well dictate how Forsberg is used. If Wilson is kept as a left-winger, it is illogical to put Forsberg there as well because he would be stuffed behind Viktor Stalberg and Wilson. To get the most out of Forsberg, he should begin as the second line right-winger.

      A projected lineup would be something like:

      Wilson-Fisher-Hornqvist
      Stalberg-Legwand-Forsberg
      Spaling-Cullen-Smith
      Nystrom-Gaustad-Hendricks

      Clune and Bourque as spares.

      Using Forsberg on the right side allows the Predators to maximize their best scorers by putting them in top six roles. If Forsberg were to be on the left-wing, then either he or Stalberg plays on the third line while Craig Smith plays in a top six role. Both Stalberg and Forsberg are better offensive options than Smith.

      It seems like you’re undervaluing Forsberg’s potential. If he develops, he could very well take over Hornqvist’s spot on the first line.

      As for Wilson and Josi being the future of the team: why can’t it be Wilson and Josi along with Forsberg and Jones? It’s certainly not a bad thing to have four players labeled as the future of the team, no? I do not consider Nashville’s future to be *just* Seth Jones and Filip Forsberg. They have other talented young players (like Wilson and Josi) who are just as much of the future as Forsberg and Jones. While I do cover the Leafs, Nashville are one of my favorite teams outside of the Maple Leafs and I really like what they have going on.

      Reply
  3. Casey Jones

    Jones isn’t a player who’s going to come in and make an impact right away, he’s a work in progress. Watching him play with the other Pred prospects showed that he isn’t quite ready. And that’s how I feel about Forsberg as well. I agree with the fact that both of them have a good chance to be good, but they are in fact future players. Wilson and Josi (and many others) are the players who a few years ago were at Forsberg and Jones’s spot. Neither one of them will be complete flops, I promise that, however they’ve got learning to do and I don’t want people to believe that their “future” can be determined in two years or so. We may have to wait maybe four or five years for them to reach their ceilings. As for the Center/Left Wing position, I think Wilson would be the better fit in the middle and Forsberg can play both sides, but I think it’s better to start him on his better side (left) and build up his confidence before pulling him to the right wing, where we really need players. Free agency hurt us a lot in my opinion. Technically, it made our team a lot stronger and gave us perhaps the best bottom six in the league, but it’s also hurting us in the fact that prospects that have showed they deserve a chance in the NHL are now stuck on a waiting list. And my last point is something that most don’t agree with me on, but I think Legwand is first line material rather than Fisher. Main reason for that is because Legwand has a lot of talent in every field needed. Also, it’s definite that Hornqvist is on the first line and Legwand and Horny have chemistry and when they play together, you can see that they play on a whole different level. Also, Horny battles in front of the net which is what Leggy loves and Horny puts a lot of shots on goal and Legwand is notorious for his ability to knock rebounds in. Also, add Stalberg in on the first line and you’ve got a surprising offensive force that no one will expect. Would you still have Fisher on the first line? They’re about evenly matched but I give Legwand the edge.

    Reply
    • Bradshaw Furlong

      I definitely think that Fisher and Legwand are interchangeable and I could have just as easily put Legwand on the first line. It’s either-or, truly.

      See, the problem with having Wilson, right now, at centre would be that either he or Fisher goes to the third line unless you move Fisher to the second line right-wing, but Fisher is more effective as a centre so I’d keep him there. Forsberg is equally adept at playing either wing. He’s not stronger at one side. In fact, when he was drafted, TSN had him listed as a LW/RW and then as just a right-winger. So his comfort level would probably be slightly higher on the right side (considering he is also a right handed shooter). If you search him on Google and go through 5 or 6 websites you’ll see there’s not really a consensus as to what position he is.

      I get that Jones and Forsberg aren’t on the level of Josi and Wilson as of right now, but they should definitely still be in that group of “these are going to be our star players going forward.” Of course they’re not going to be on Wilson/Josi’s level right now, they’ve played a combined 5 NHL games. But they should still be in that grouping considering their talent level is certainly on par with Wilson and Josi.

      Reply
  4. Casey Jones

    I couldn’t agree with you more on some of that. Forsberg just plays every forward position but eventually, yes, RW top 6 forward. You’re a smart writer, thank you for that, haha.

    Reply
    • Bradshaw Furlong

      Well, thank you haha.

      Be sure to check out the Seth Jones preview coming out tomorrow by one of my fellow writers on here!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*