Arnesson looks to supply some Swedish star power

Arnesson looks to supply some Swedish star power
July 11, 2013, 12:15 am
Share This Post

WILMINGTON – There were no first round picks from the 2013 NHL Draft milling about with the 24 young players selected for this year’s Bruins Developmental Camp, but there was still some high end talent. Bruins second round pick Linus Arnesson was the most promising new face at Ristuccia Arena wearing Black and Gold, and showed plenty of versatility in his first day with the Bruins.

“Linus took some shifts at forward today, so for a while we were kind of wondering whether or not we drafted [a defenseman],” joked assistant general manager Don Sweeney. “He is certainly a two-way defenseman. [He’s] really a good skater. I think you’ll see his ability to defend as the week goes along, and guys will have a tough time getting around him.

“He’s pretty fluid. He looks to make simple plays. [He has] physical strength, because he’s dabbled now playing with older guys. I think it’s exciting. I know our scouts are very excited as to where he was in the draft in their minds, and where we ended up selecting him.”

The Stockholm, Sweden native showed the smooth skating and advanced abilities that attracted Bruins scouts in the first place, and stood out as a capable defenseman among his peers as an 18-year-old European prospect. Part of that was the experience of playing against grown men in the Swedish Elite League for Djurgarden, but still looking to improve offensively after a single assist and a minus-3 rating in 31 games for the Djurgarden franchise.

“I’ve talked to the coaches a lot about the expectations from the organization, so we’ll see,” said the 6-foot-2, 187-pound Arnesson. “It’s an Original Six team and a tough-minded team. I think that’s why [the Bruins] picked me, because they liked my toughness.

“I’ve dreamed of the NHL since I was a little kid, and I’m obviously working on that while I’m here. I need to work hard to get on this team, and that’s the big challenge right now.”

One thing Arnesson needs to continue to work on is refining his first outlet pass and his work in the offensive zone. The Swedish defenseman has plenty of attributes that he could be conducive to a productive NHL player, but he’s also just getting started as an 18-year-old likely headed back to Sweden for greater refinement and development as a player.