Joel Jonsson is a winger from Brunflo, Sweden who is eligible for the 2022 draft. Jonsson started the season with the U18 squad of his team Mora IK, but has recently been promoted to the top tier U20 league in Sweden, J20 Nationell. Since then, he has gone on to score 5 + 10 in 12 games as of November 6, 2021.
Jonsson was not ranked in the top 100 of FC Hockey´s 2021 October ranking. After only playing 10 games during 2020-21, we can expect Jonsson´s draft stock to rise over the course of the season. With an Hlinka Gretzky election and point per game pace at the Swedish J20 Nationell, it will not take long before he is on the radar and moving up rankings.
|Date of Birth||09 Mar, 2004|
|Place of Birth||Brunflo, Sweden|
|Youth Team||Brunflo IK|
|Height||174 cm, 5’9″|
|Weight||69 kg, 152 lbs|
|NHL Draft Eligibility||2022|
Jonsson is a diminutive winger with high hockey IQ. Helped by his confidence with the puck, Jonsson is one of the players that always seems to have more time than others on the ice. This skill becomes particularly evident when his opponents are older players in the junior league. During matches like this Jonsson faces players stronger than himself and needs to think about the game at another level in order to succeed.
A player that comes to mind while watching Jonsson play is Sebastian Aho from the Carolina Hurricanes. Aho came into the league lacking the power or shot of players like his fellow countrymen Jesse Puljujärvi and Patrik Laine. Instead, Aho relied on his hockey sense. Similar to Aho, deception and anticipation are the primary skills utilized in Jonsson´s game. His hockey IQ is used defensively to cover passing lanes and in the offensive zone to set up teammates. Scouts will also be delighted to see his vision on display along the half-wall on the power play.
When transitioning into the neutral zone, Jonsson has the confidence to transport the puck on his stick. He also possesses the composure required to purposely attract a defender before playing the puck, which creates space for his teammates. His skilled anticipation aids him in deceiving defenders while transporting the puck into the offensive zone. He utilizes subtle shifts in his direction and finds open lanes by using his hockey sense rather than his speed.
This is much, not to say solely, due to his size. Defenders use their size-advantage to contain Jonsson and his 5’9″, 152 lbs frame. Despite knowing this, he enters puck-battles in the corners without hesitation. Occasionally he will also deliver a hit himself.
Jonsson thrives when he can start the cycle with his teammates around the opposing net. Using his ability to control the puck, he can maintain pressure in the offensive zone. He is a constant threat and can take the puck to the net himself at any time.
During his time with Mora U20, Jonsson´s vision has been best utilized along the half-wall at the powerplay. Getting ice-time on both sides of the ice, Jonsson is lethal threat when he manages to find open passing lanes, which happens often. Though Jonsson is more of a playmaker than a shooter, he possesses soft hands and can deke goalies. Jonsson was also his coach´s first penalty shooter in his team’s latest shootout.
As touched on previously, Jonsson´s speed is only average to other players in the Swedish J20 Nationell. Although this comparison is to predominantly players two years older than him, this is something he will need to work on to take the next step in his development. It is specifically his straight-line speed that will have to improve. Much due to his height-limitation of 5’9″, his stride-length is short. The stride intensity could also improve and will possibly do so as he adds lower body strength. Jonsson is however mobile laterally. Using his edges he could be shifty in tight spaces and can use direction-shifts to deceive defenders.
In the first line of defence, the forecheck, Jonsson does not shy away from delivering a hit despite his small size. On the forecheck he is better suited in the F2 or F3 position where he can anticipate plays of the opponent. Jonsson will make opponents pay immediately if he manages to force a give-away tight to the opposing net, much thanks to his creativity close to the net.
In the defensive zone, pinching defensemen take advantage of his smaller 152 lbs frame while he is trying to get the puck out. Jonsson is nevertheless clever enough to anticipate an incoming hit.
Jonsson is helped by his hockey IQ to cover passing lanes and interrupt plays in his own zone. He also has the awareness to cover up in front of his own net if needed. Jonsson is quick to help out his defensemen when transitioning from the defensive zone by providing a passing option down low.
Jonsson will be one of the smartest players left when he is selected in the draft. Scouts will be impressed by his patience and how comfortable he is with the puck.
Jonsson´s straight line speed will have to improve before making the leap to the next level. He is likely to add intensity to his stride when his lower body strength improves. His overall strength is a weakness at present, but we expect this to be addressed as he matures physically.
Jonsson has been played at both left and right wing to start the season. With his hockey sense and ability to link teammates, it would be interesting to see him at the centre position. Defensively, his capability to read plays and sound positioning could also be useful at centre. If Jonsson manages to expand his repertoire with a solid two-way game, it could be his ticket to the NHL.
Expect Jonsson to soon move into the top 100 rankings for the draft. If that is where Jonsson is selected in the draft, Jonsson might be one of the smartest players available when his name is called.