With the 41st overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Flyers select Swedish left-handed defenseman, Robert Hägg, from Modo Jr.
Hägg, who is listed at 6’2″ and 201lb. at the age of 18, is a well rounded defenseman who was projected to go in the latter half of the first round.
Although his game is fairly solid, his physical play lacks consistency. He also told reporters today that he needed to work on his “wild inconsistency”, according to CSN Philly’s Sarah Baicker. (Hey there, Braydon Coburn.)
The big, mobile defender served as an assistant captain on Sweden’s U18 team this year and captained the U20 team.
He posted 24 points in 28 games for that team. He had 16 points in 19 games and 53 penalty minutes for Sweden’s U18 (all) team.
“Hagg started last season as a member of the U16 for Modo then he ended up on the ModoJ20 team in the Super Elite League. Haag contributed four goals and 13 assists in only 44 games with Modo’s J20 team. He has split time with the J20 and with Modo’s big squad in the Elisterein. He has good skating ability. He’s quick, agile, and powerful possessing decent puck play and has a good shot. He’s a big kid at 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds. I would love to see him add on another 15 pounds or so. Great upside. Should go in the later half of the first round.”
“Hagg is a really gifted defenseman who progressed as the season went on, going from the junior league to playing in the SEL although his performance was up and down throughout the campaign…Scouts are divided on Hagg’s defensive play. One thinks it is his best asset, while another calls him a very well-rounded player, and yet others say his defense needs work. From my assessment, I do not think he is an exceptional defensive player. He is quality in his own end, but he does make the odd bad decision here and there. Still, there is a lot to like about Hagg. He has a great hockey brain, mobility, and solid physicality.”
Here is a Hägg highlight video from the 2013 WJC U20 tournament:
Here is a video prospect profile on him:
Per Power Play with CJ, he has been compared to fellow Swede and top-flight Coyotes defender, Oliver-Ekman Larsson.
While it can be argued that the Flyers reached a little bit with their first round pick, it appears they got a steal in Hägg.
Paul Holmgren has said that he needs to be patient and that is what he will need to be with his top two picks, especially Hägg.
Whatever the case, the Flyers suddenly have legitimate defensive prospects and, well, hot damn.