2015 Sabres Draft Profiles: Jacob Larsson
Larsson is a strong two-way defenseman with size and talent who could drop to the second round.
Weight: 185 lbs.
Current Team: Frolunda (SHL)
Central Scouting Ranking: 3 (Europe)
ISS Ranking: 34
Jacob Larsson has a high ceiling for a player that could slide to the second round. That's one of the perks of a deep draft like this year's.
He spent a majority of this season with Frolunda's junior team, scoring eight goals and 11 assists in 19 games. He earned a call-up to the SHL, where he impressed with his steady play.
Internationally, Larsson played for Sweden at the U-18s and the Hlinka Memorial tournament. He had four assists in ten games between the two tournaments.
Larsson patterns his game after Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and if he's even close to OEL is play at the NHL level he could be a steal in the second round. Sportsnet compares him to Vancouver's Chris Tanev, while Last Word On Sports compares him to Jay Bouwmeester. The similarities between the two are evident when looking at Larsson's game, with supreme skating and passing abilities. Larsson is a sound player, not the flashiest, but one that has a strong defensive game and the ability to jump into the rush.
Larsson is also not afraid to use the body and get in the corners. His 6'2" size allows him to do so effectively. As much as the zone entries are a nice perk, this is the strongest asset he possesses.
Although he has played against men before, scouts believe it may take him a bit to adjust to the North American game. He could be a player that would quickly move to Rochester to develop.
He'd be a nice selection to add to the Sabres defensive depth, especially if the Sabres don't take a different defenseman at 21. He could even be an option in the first round, as some scouts believe he should be. Depending on the ranking that you look at, he's slotting in the late first sometimes and the early to mid-second round in others. If the Sabres do take another left-handed defenseman like Oliver Kylington in the first-round and Larsson is still available at 31, it may be smart to go another direction.
What They're Saying
"Larsson is very smart and poised and makes plays under pressure. A very good passer who gives you the puck in good time. Doesn’t pass along his problems and finds good options when he has the puck. His skating is solid and he maneuvers well to gain strong defensive positioning and to take advantage offensively. Ideally suited to today’s NHL."
-Craig Button, TSN
"A puck moving, two-way defender. Makes a great first pass to his forwards. Uses his strength to protect the puck. Skates well with a smooth stride that generates solid speed. Very agile and fluid Showed great vision by seeing smart passing lanes. Shoots low and hard attempting to create rebound chances Uses his physicality to play the body in separating opponents from the puck. Very vocal on the ice. Plays strong positional defense and uses an active stick to disrupt. Shows some strong leadership qualities."
"He plays a surprisingly mature game with good decisions both on the offense and defense. Good size and strength and a smooth mobile skater. Very quick first pass, makes smart plays and finds the open man well."
-Goran Stubb, NHL Central Scouting Director of European Scouting
"He is a two-way defenseman. Solid positioning and pretty big and strong, I’d say he is probably bigger than the official measurements. Quite a good skater with decent mobility. Not very speedy and at the same time not slow. Good at moving the puck but not very flashy. Solid defensively using smarts over strength."