Sad news at The Hot List: it’s time to officially retire a favorite nickname.
There was always confusion as to whether a certain Super Swede was Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson or Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi.
With the latter, the opportunity to refer to the left winger as MSP was just too delightful to pass up, but MPS doesn’t have the same zazz. And although his camp says you can say it either way, both Central Scouting and Timra IK’s website have it as Paajarvi-Svensson, so that’s good enough for us.
In the meantime, witness the birth of a new nickname…Ultra Magnus.
1. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, LW – Timra IK (Swe.): Ultra Magnus played his first game on NHL-sized ice at the world juniors this year and for all GMs out there who are wondering, it was good times.
“It was a great experience, especially getting to the final in Ottawa and playing in a great hockey city,” Paajarvi-Svensson said. “It was a pretty big change for me (from bigger, Olympic-sized ice) and a challenge. I love the small rinks.”
And small rinks love him. Paajarvi-Svensson was a key offensive component for the silver medal-winning Swedes, notching seven points in six games and spearheading many a dangerous rush with his size, speed and creativity.
“I love the high-paced tempo games,” he added. “You get a lot of odd-man rushes.”
Touted as a top-five pick this summer, NHL teams will be lining up for the youngster, who is already playing in the Swedish Elite League and holding his own. Since the world juniors, his ice time has increased and so have his points.
Though he needs to work on finishing-off scoring opportunities, Ultra Magnus is still a deadly weapon for any team to add to its arsenal.
“I create a lot of chances and I want to make goals; make the other team turn the puck over,” Paajarvi-Svensson said. “Just a pure offensive player.”
Draft eligible in 2009.
2. Mikael Granlund, C – Karpat Oulu Jr. (Fin.): The crafty little Granlund is one of the latest prodigies hoping to stoke the Finnish hockey machine and he’s definitely playing for keeps. The 16-year-old has 52 points in 30 games and is fearless on the ice, despite a smallish frame. Draft eligible in 2010.
3. Brandon Kozun, RW – Calgary Hitmen (WHL): Could Kozun be this year’s Justin Azevedo? That is, a small guy with big stats passed over in the draft, but picked up later? Could be. The 5-foot-8 speedster is second in Dub scoring with 78 points in 54 games and has the confidence to take his game to the next level. Draft eligible in 2009 (undrafted in 2008).
4. Joey Hishon, C – Owen Sound Attack (OHL): The late 1991 birthday means Hishon can spend the summer packing some pounds onto his 5-foot-10, 166-pound frame, but clearly the youngster is learning on the ice in the meantime: His plus-minus is up at plus-11 this season after a wretched minus-34 last year and his 59 points leads the Attack. Draft eligible in 2010.
5. Jonathon Blum, D – Vancouver Giants (WHL): California knows how to party and Blum knows how to score. The Golden State native is on pace to wreck his already impressive junior career-high in points; Blum has 57 through 40 games and will easily crack 20 goals from the blueline this year. Drafted 23rd overall by Nashville in 2007.
6. Mike Lee, G – Fargo Force (USHL): The Force isn’t much to be reckoned with in the offensive end, making Lee’s job all the more important. His 2.55 goals-against average and .913 save percentage are pretty sweet on a middling team and Lee has 15 of the Force’s 18 wins. Draft eligible in 2009.
7. Jordan Schroeder, RW – University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (WCHA): Thanks to games missed due to the world juniors, Schroeder isn’t quite at the top of the conference scoring leaderboard, but his points-per-game average of 1.27 is second only to St. Cloud’s Garrett Roe. Scouts still love the diminutive winger, too; he’s got that fearlessness little guys need. Draft eligible in 2009.
8. Artem Anisimov, C – Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL): Anisimov could make his NHL debut as early as tonight, so this is likely his last chance at a Hot List shout out. The 6-foot-3 Russian is known for his strong two-way skills, but no one’s going to knock him for the 50 points in 48 games he has piled on for the Pack so far. Drafted 54th overall by the New York Rangers in 2006.
9. Nick Bonino, C – Boston University Terriers (Hockey East): It’s Beanpot Tournament time again and Bonino was front and center in the Terriers’ come-from-behind win against Harvard last night. The Sharks prospect is second in team scoring behind Colin Wilson and thanks to his two-goal night against the Crimson, is exactly a point-per-game player right now. Drafted 173rd overall by San Jose in 2007.
10. John Carlson, D – London Knights (OHL): As the year goes on, Carlson keeps getting better. His 53 points is third best among OHL defensemen and more importantly for his future, he’s a rare right-handed shot on the point. Drafted 27th overall by Washington in 2008.
The Hot List, a weekly roundup of minor league, junior, college and high school players we’re excited to one day see in the NHL, appears every Tuesday only on thehockeynews.com.
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