Next up in our draft profile series, we take a look at Oskar Olausson, ranked at number 20 in our consolidated draft rankings. He is a left-shot left wing who has played his junior hockey in Sweden so far for the HV71 club, aside from a brief stint on loan to Södertälje SK this year.
Who is Oskar Olausson?
One of the older players in the draft, Olausson was born on November 10th 2002, in Stockholm, Sweden. He is 6’2″ and 181 pounds, already a good size for a pro hockey player.
So far in his young career he has played in many of Sweden’s junior leagues and two pro leagues, accumulating 27 games of professional experience over the course of the last season, playing 16 games in Sweden’s top hockey league and another 11 in the second-best league.
Oskar Olausson’s on-ice production
Here’s an overview of his stats over the past three seasons.
|2018–19||D-2||J18 Elit||HV71 J18||8||6||5||11|
|2018–19||D-2||J18 Allsvenskan||HV71 J18||11||11||3||14|
|2018–19||D-2||J20 SuperElit||HV71 J18||11||1||3||4|
|2019–20||D-1||J18 Elit||HV71 J18||7||6||1||7|
|2019–20||D-1||J20 SuperElit||HV71 J20||21||7||9||16|
|2020–21||D+0||J20 Nationell||HV71 J20||16||14||13||27|
Starting in 2018–19 and working our way forwards chronologically, we can see a clear progression in Olausson’s ability. In his D-2 year, he performed so well in the under-18 leagues that he was promoted to the top Swedish junior league. In his 11 game stint, he managed one goal and three assists.
The following season, one year before his draft-eligible year, he returned to the top junior league, putting up much better offensive numbers and tallying 16 points in 21 games. The improvement continued from there.
This past season, he put up gaudy numbers in the J20 Nationell league. With 14 goals in only 16 games, he was called up to the pro ranks, playing in the top-tier SHL as well as the second-highest ranked league in the country, HockeyAllsvenskan.
While he didn’t put up outrageous numbers like he had in junior, he put up respectable numbers especially when considering he played less than 11 minutes a night in both pro leagues.
Oskar Olausson’s Strengths
Olausson is an interesting case. He has a good shot and pretty good hockey sense, and you could call both of those aspects of his game strengths. But his true strong suit is his skating.
For example, here are two clips. In the first, he wires home a power play goal, showing off his shot. In the second, he makes an excellent shorthanded read to pressure the defender. He picks up the puck while actually facing his own end boards, but still has the speed to gain a step on the defender.
As the defender tails off to cover the pass, he buries a goal off a nice delay move.
He has a dangerous combination of speed and agility, and excels at using said speed and direction changes to beat defenseman. Combined with a great set of hands, Olausson has all the tools to be an offensive threat in the NHL one day. His ability to use his skating and ands to create space for himself is a talent not many players have.
In this longer clip, you can see a full (and dominant) shift from Olausson, where he shows off how he finds space with his hands and his feet, eventually resulting in a goal for his team. Olausson is wearing number 21.
Oskar Olausson’s areas of improvements
Although Olausson excels at just about every element of the game, but what needs improvement is his consistency. Many reports agree that while he has the potential to be a game-changer every night, he isn’t. Most nights he is at the top of his game, but he’s inconsistent with it, and that’s a concern for interested teams.
Being as well-rounded as he is at such a young age is impressive, but because he still hasn’t found that all-important consistency in his game yet, there is some risk involved for whichever team does end up taking him.
Fit with the Flames
Can you ever have too many young talented players? It’s tough to say any first-round eligible prospect isn’t a good fit in a Flames system that is somewhat lacking prospects. Does he fit the organization’s most pressing needs? Not really. That doesn’t mean Olausson isn’t a quality prospect the team should consider.
At the end of the day, the team should take the best player available to them when they make their first selection. If they make no trades between now and the draft, it’s unlikely they take him considering his mean projection in the TWC rankings has him going as a mid-to-late first-round pick. But if they move down (as they showed they were willing to do as recently as last year) and decide to take him despite not necessarily playing the position they most need, it won’t be difficult to find space for him within the organization.
Standing at 6’2″ and weighing in at 181 pounds, Olausson has pretty good size, but could benefit from adding some weight to his frame. Apart from his physical stature, he plays a well-rounded game, but struggles with consistency.
Still, his impressive skating and deking abilities will make him an exciting prospect for whichever team he ends up with, and his shot is impressive too. If he can find some more consistency in his game, he will be a sneaky good pick for whoever ends up picking him.
Projection: Middle-six forward
Previously: William Eklund, Dylan Guenther, Cole Sillinger, Jesper Wallstedt, Kent Johnson, Simon Robertsson, Fabian Lysell, Aatu Räty, Carson Lambos, Simon Edvinsson, Chaz Lucius, Mason McTavish, Brennan Othmann, Corson Ceulemans, Francesco Pinelli
Featured image created with Venngage.