We recently tracked down one of our European scouting sources to get the skinny (pun intended) on lean, but talented Swedish left wing Jeremy Boyce-Rotevall. He's one player who has emerged as a legitimate prospect to watch in what is another strong Swedish crop for the 2011 NHL Draft after starting the season as a relative unknown.
The book on the 17-year-old who split the season between Timrå's J20 and Eliteserien (pro) team is that he's an excellent skater with sudden acceleration and lateral agility to spare. He has the pure speed to back defenders up and loves to fire the puck in full gallop. He had 15 goals and 30 points in 31 junior games before going up to the senior team, where he played in 33 contests, scoring a very modest (and typical for so young a player) 1 goal and 4 points. He's got a good shot and release and shows a pretty good touch on the puck for passiing. Boyce-Rotevall may lack the pure offensive instincts and creativity to be a big point producer, but with his excellent feet and good hands, he's got a chance to be a top-nine forward at the NHL with some upside to be a second-liner. His two-way play has been inconsistent, but not for a lack of understanding. He just needs to be a little more consistent and raise his compete level a bit.
"He is (a) very good skater who has nice first step and top speed," the European NHL scout for an Eastern Conference team said. "He can be shifty, too- he slows it down depending on what is there and can get back up to speed quickly. His puckhandling is good and he can shoot the puck, too. He struggled to find the net at the pro level, but he's was very young kid and I think the numbers will come."
Boyce-Rotevall's late-August 1993 birthdate makes him on the younger end of the spectrum for the class, and his very average size (6-0, 170) is going to take some work to develop in the coming years. However, there are some raw materials to work with in this player and he appears to have the kind of promise that could see him drafted in the top-three rounds in Minnesota.
"His overall game is coming along," the scout said. "And he needs to raise the effort at times, but this is a very good player I think, who could be even better when he gets more experience and stronger."
Boyce-Rotevall may not have been a household name when the season began, but more and more people are coming around to him, this blog included. He's another developmental project who will take time, but could have a pretty nice payoff.