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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bruins prospect profile #30: Alexander Fallstrom

Alexander Fallstrom, RW
6-2, 192
September 15, 1990
Shoots: Right
Acquired from Minnesota with a 2011 second-round selection (Alexander Khokhlachev) for Chuck Kobasew in October, 2009
Signing status: Unsigned

Talent Analysis

Tall and lanky build; needs to add significant mass and strength in the next few years of his development. Improving his upper body power and drive will be his biggest challenge between now and when he turns pro. Adequate skater; improved his first step quickness from where he was a year ago at 2010 development camp and is coming along in his development. Will never be a burner, but his skating flaws are easily correctable and don't stand out in competition. Very good hands and a quick stick; able to work effectively with limited time and space. Good, heavy shot that he can release quickly. Will drive hard to the net and bang in the rebounds. Able to get his stick on pucks for deflections and redirections. Shields the puck well from defenders and is serviceable down low and on the cycle. Very good defensive player who understands positioning and his responsibilities. Finishes his checks; plays more of a North American-style game given his time spent playing prep and in the NCAA. Ripped it up for 87 points in 40 games his final prep season at Shattuck, so the kid can score. It's just a matter of figuring out how much of his scoring touch at the lower levels will translate at Harvard and in the pro ranks.

Intangibles: Heady winger works hard and is diligent in his approach to on- and off-ice work. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden but raised in Stockholm and eschewed the traditional route most Swedes take by going through the pro development system via junior teams in favor of going to Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota at age 16, earning the captaincy as a senior in 08-09. Has a nose for the net; seems to recognize scoring opportunities and then place himself in areas where he can impact the play. Intelligent and well spoken; understands his role and plays it well. Another character kid who took a lesser-traveled road than most of his peers but appears on track to succeed.

Boston Bruins 2011 Development Camp assessment

As was the case a year ago, Fallstrom's game isn't flashy or dynamic, but he makes the most of what he does best and that is- he gets himself into scoring position and finishes off chances with that dangerous shot of his. Fallstrom's lack of skating is not as much of an issue as it was before- he's gotten a little quicker off the mark, but still lacks straight-ahead speed. Where he compensates is with his hockey sense and lumber. Put him out there with a playmaker and he can make things happen. There was one interesting sequence observed when Fallstrom went head-to-head in a drill with Alexander Khokhlachev, the other player acquired from Minnesota for Chuck Kobasew nearly two years ago. In the drill, something must have been lost in translation for Koko, as he zigged when he should have zagged and Fallstrom schooled him. It did serve as a reminder to Bruins fans of what could be for Boston if both players make it to the big show together. Koko has the pure offensive skill, but Fallstrom is a heady player in his own right- he stole the puck, went in alone on Lars Volden and then ripped a screamer high over his glove hand for the score.

Development Camp interview with Alexander Fallstrom


Solid third- or fourth-line player with the intelligence and hands to make a modest contribution on offense at the NHL level. Got off to a slow start in his sophomore season and battled nagging injuries, but started to round into form better around Beanpot time. 2011-12 is the year where he should start to put up numbers. Like some of the other prospects in Boston's system, Fallstrom is in a good situation where he can take his time to round out his game and the pressure will not be on him to contribute right away. He's an atypical Swede in that he isn't a very good skater, but unlike former B's prospect Anton Hedman, Fallstrom's mobility is not a major drawback, and by the time he's ready to progress to the next level, the skating should be improved enough to give him a shot at making it. Could be a high-end scorer in the minors before he makes a run at regular NHL employment, but at worst, should be an effective 30-point defensive forward who can play in all situations and will earn the trust of his coaches to play in big moments. If you had to compare his style to anyone, he's a little like Gregory Campbell: better hands, but not as good a skater as Campbell.


"Real good sign for Alex he met with, we set it up for him to meet with John Whitesides at the end of his year before he went back to Sweden. And to spend some time there and identify some of the areas physically that he could work on and fine tune so it would translate on the ice, and i think it has done that. He’s moving better, shoots the puck well, he’s a concisencious player. We want to see what his high side is offensively. So you’ve got to get him in, fine tune and get him in the right shape and be able to utilize the skills that he has to be able to get there. The skating side of it is something he’s going to continue to work on, he knows that. But he’s done a lot of hard work and the fruits of that are showing up here this week."- Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney; July 10, 2011

"I'm having a lot of fun for sure. This is a very good experience and my first time working with the Boston coaches, so I'm just trying to learn what I can and bring it back with me to Harvard for the upcoming season."- Alexander Fallstrom to B2010DW, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

"Fallstrom's not the most exciting player to come out of Shattuck (St. Mary's), but he did very well there. I remember watching him and not noticing him much, and then I'd look at the score sheet afterwards and he had three or four points. He's the kind of player who keeps it simple, but goes hard to the net and is an opportunistic scorer. Maybe not a high-end offensive player at the next level, but he plays an honest two-way game and has the skills to put up some points with the right linemates."- NHL scout to hockeyjournal.com; May, 2010.

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