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Elias Salomonsson; 2022 NHL Draft Profile; An Offensive Defenseman with Top 4 Potential?

Elias Salomonsson was considered a sure first rounder last year, saw his stock drop significantly at the start of this year, and recovered back to first round territory. The defenseman has the offense, but his defense could hold him back

2022 NHL Scouting Combine Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Who is Elias Salomonsson?

Elias Salomonsson is a right-shot defenseman from Skelleftea, Sweden. With a birthday of August 31, 2004, he is one of the youngest players in this year’s draft. He is 6’1” and weighs 183 lbs. He has played exclusively for Skelleftea AIK and for Sweden internationally.

Salomonsson is an offensive defensemen. He is most notable for his passing, but as you can see from his 11 goals this season, he has a great shot too. However, his draft ranking did drop this season. His poor defense was more notable this season, making him a high-risk or project pick. In the shift by shift I watched of him, at one point he got turned around and was out of the play, facing the wrong way, and trying to figure out where the puck was. Not good for a defenseman near his own net.

Where is Salomonsson Ranked?

  • Ranked #88 by EliteProspects
  • Ranked #26 by FCHockey
  • Ranked #33 by Bob McKenzie
  • Ranked #56 by McKeen’s Hockey
  • Ranked #43 by Craig Button
  • Ranked #32 by Recruit Scouting
  • Ranked #46 by DobberProspects
  • Ranked #28 by Draft Prospects Hockey
  • Ranked #38 by Smaht Scouting
  • Ranked #15 by The Puck Authority

His rankings are a bit messy, with 15 the highest and 88 the lowest. Outside those two outliers and McKeen’s, he’s ranked between 26 and 46, late first round or early to mid second round.

What Others say about Elias Salomonsson

There’s plenty to read about Salomonsson online. From what I can gather he was a first rounder last year, dropped in the first half of this year, and brought himself back up to late first round potential in the 2nd half.

Austin Stanovich wrote this profile about Salomonsson

I agree with what Stanovich says. Salomonsson can walk the blue line well and has a great shot and the ability to make crisp passes, but his defensive game needs work and he’s known for being inconsistent.

Ben Kerr from lastwordonsports did a profile on Salomonsson. Here’s what he had to say about the Swedish defenseman:

He can walk the line in the offensive end, helping him to create passing and shooting lanes. Salomonsson’s lateral agility also makes him tough to beat on the rush. He has crisp pivots as well.

Salomonsson moves the puck effectively. He has excellent vision and passing skills, starting the transition game from his own end as well as quarterbacking the play in the offensive zone. He can make a tape-to-tape pass over a long distance when a forward gets behind the defence. His stickhandling is also strong. He marries this with his strong skating to carry the puck through the neutral zone and generate effective zone entries.

Salomonsson is very effective on the power play with his passing skills. His slap shot is also powerful. Salomonsson does a good job of getting it on the net. He keeps it low to give his teammates the chance for tip-ins and rebounds. He also does a good job with one-timers. Even if the pass is a little off, he can adjust his hands and feet to still get a powerful shot off. He also has a good wrist shot. It is accurate, powerful and features a quick release. Salomonson’s lateral agility allows him to walk the line and create passing and shooting lanes.

It is when the opposing team has possession of the puck in his end of the ice that the problems start. He can become a bit too focused on the puck at times, losing his man as he looks to make a play on the puck carrier. This over-aggressiveness leads to missed coverages and his man getting open for scoring chances. He also tries to do a bit too much with the puck. Instead of making a safe play and getting the puck out of the zone, Salomonsson can be prone to turnovers in his end.

Salomonsson’s draft season may not have been what he hoped for. His defensive game was exposed at times and this has led to his fall in draft position. However, Salomonsson still has all the tools to be a top-four defender in the NHL. He is a bit of a high-risk, high-reward pick as his offensive game, size and skating all project well at the next level. Luckily, defence is the most teachable aspect of the game and the skills Salomonsson possesses are not as easily learned.

Mikael Holm wrote this post about Salomonsson, a good look at why the rankings on Salomonsson might be quite varied

A Little Video

These are all of Salomonsson’s goals from this season. You can see he has a very good shot and isn’t afraid walk in

This is some shift-by-shift footage of Salomonsson

An Opinion of Sorts

Salomonsson certainly has tools and upside, but he is also a project. His defense isn’t there yet. He is a high-risk, high-reward pick. If the Devils were to pick him at 37 I’m not sure I’d be too comfortable, but I wouldn’t be horribly upset either. He can skate well, he can pass well, and he can shoot well, and he’s considering to have top 4 upside. The defense is poor, but he’s young and offensive, so I’m not too worried about it. If he’s there at 69 I’d certainly take him with his offensive upside. It might take a few years, but he could be good.

Your Take

What do you think of Salomonsson? Think his poor start to the season is a red flag? Or do you like his offensive potential and see a future top 4 defenseman? Where would you take him? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank your for reading.