One more in a long line of highly skilled and mobile puck-moving rearguards from Sweden, the tall (6-1) but very lanky Brodin is an outstanding skater whose strength is his east-west lateral movement and ability to crossover in the face of forwards who attack with speed. He's got excellent vision and defensive instincts, able to diagram unfolding plays and put himself in position to interdict and neutralize the opposition attack. Brodin also has the ability to start the transition game to offense with his soft hands and crisp outlet passing. Although only about 165-170 pounds, Brodin has also shown a surprising ability to play a physical game. This is especially significant because he's competing at the Swedish Elite League (SEL) level this season with Färjestad.
Red Line Report has an outstanding section on the top Swedish players for the 2011 class in their October issue. Like 2009, this could be another Swede-heavy draft, and Brodin is currently in their top-five at No. 4 and No 25 overall in the RLR rankings.
Here's what Swedish scout Par Larsson had to say about Brodin: "Looks tiny around net and corners, but never shies from contact and his fine positioning and timing allow him to handle the added physicality. Smart and makes heady plays with the puck, finding breaking wingers on the tape."
Red Line's insights are some of the most valuable and informative. As always, I thank Kyle Woodlief for allowing this blog to share just some of the great work he and his scouts do. I know that he is personally in Penticton this week scouting the World Jr. A Challenge, so it's no rest for the weary for those guys. Brodin is high on their list and it will be interesting to see where he grades out in June on the annual RLR Draft Guide. For more on Red Line and their products, you can visit www.redlinereport.com
Although the Bruins have not gone to Sweden for any draft choices in quite some time (2004- Anton Hedman) 2011 might be the year to make another visit to Scandinavia. Brodin would not be a bad option at all to infuse more skill and even though he doesn't project as a No. 1, he could become a solid 2/3 in time. In 15 games, he has one assist with the SEL team, which is about par for course for a 17-year-old in his first pro season.