Henrik Borgström saw his draft stock rise throughout this past season in the Finnish U20 league. He’s ranked 9th among European skaters in NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings. Borgström has committed to play college hockey at University of Denver and had lots of interest from other colleges. Here’s a closer look at Borgström’s strengths, weaknesses and draft projection.
Borgström is a player who creates offense through puck possession and unexpected plays. This made the 6’3 center valuable part of HIFK U20’s power play. He has an ability to move the puck through traffic and find others easily. He’s got excellent reach and really good puck control in tight. Borgström can be extremely tough to stop when driving to the net from the wing and getting the inside position. His wrist shot is another asset, it may not be the heaviest one but nevertheless really accurate. There were a few times this season when this observer saw him find top shelf with quality wristers. His hockey sense and passing are above-average.
While Borgström is certainly one of the most talented Finns for the draft, he’s somewhat raw and there’s clearly work to be done in some aspects of the game. He has decent separation speed, but his acceleration could improve. Additionally, he sometimes glides on the ice too much instead of keeping his feet moving. Certain times he also tries to do too much with the puck which can result in turnovers. He could also get better at face-offs going forward. Defensively, Borgström shows good stick positioning and decent gap control but more of a physical presence in battles would be nice to see.
Borgström could be selected as early as in the second or third round, though the latter seems more likely. After watching him play for HIFK juniors over the past two seasons, I’m convinced he has the upside to play in the NHL. As I mentioned, he’s not a complete player at this point of his young career, but big centers with such high skill level are hard to find.