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Daily Cupcakes- Adam Larsson

Yesterday I went over Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and gave you lovely peeps a link to the piece on Landeskog, I mean not will have changed about him since then. So I thought I'd move onto Adam Larsson today.

Larsson is 6'2 (some say 6'3) and 220 pounds. He is a defenseman who shoots right. He was born on November 12, 1992 in Skelleftea Sweden. An interesting fact: his father was also a hockey player, in fact he was drafter by the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 in the 6th round, but he never played a game in the NHL. Larsson is ranked 2nd by the International Scouting Service. This past season he played for Skelleftea and ammased 9 points and 41 penalty minutes in 37 games played. Adam has had some international experience. In 2010 he represented Sweden in both the World Junior Championships and World U18 Championships. At the Under 18 he was selected as the best defenseman of the tournament. In 2011 he once again represented his country at the World Junior Championships. So what can he offer?

You can see some video of him here.

The Scouting Report certainly has nice things to say.

Heading into the 2010/2011 season it’s clear to see that the top spot will be ’s to lose. While there was a prevailing notion that Victor Hedman was the top Swedish defensive prospect possibly ever, only two years later it looks like Larsson will poised to take that mantle.

The Hockey Writers also like him.

What makes Larsson such a hot commodity? Great size. Superior hockey sense. Strong skater. Accurate point shot. Recoverability. Outstanding outlet passer. All around defenseman.

Larsson is also getting some very high praise.

"He’s much better now than Lidstrom was at the same age," Tommy Boustedt, the Swedish hockey federation’s national director of development, said in a phone interview from Sweden. "If he hadn’t played for our under-18 team in April he would have played on our men’s national team in May, he’s that good.

"I think he will be, in the end, one of the best defenders our country has ever produced."

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch likes what they see, but they do not think he is a slam dunk.

Right now, going off of what we know, it's hard to say for sure, but the tools are certainly there. He had a excellent offensive season a year ago, but really fell off with his numbers this time around. I think a lot of that had to do with nagging injuries and also perhaps the pressure that comes with performing in the draft season. Larsson set the bar really, really high as a 16-17-year-old, so unfortunately for him, there was no place for him to go but down.

But they do praise him quite a bit in another article.

A fluid and powerful skater who gets up to speed quickly and can change directions/recover rapidly. Excellent athlete; shows very strong balance and opens his hips/pivots well. Reads and anticipates the play and transitions the puck rapidly up the ice. Possesses an absolute howitzer for a shot; will wind up and drive the puck with violent torque, or is smart enough to recognize when time/space is limited and snaps off a hard, low bullet from the point.

Mock Draft Mania covers some of the cons associated with Larsson.

Defensive Awareness: Larsson needs to improve his defensive awareness, but this can improve with the proper coaching.

Intangibles: At this point Larsson lacks the intangibles on offense and defense.

Production: In terms of NHL production Larsson is raw and unpolished, but with a year of playing in the AHL farm system for NHL players Larsson will gain the experience necessary to play in the NHL.

Some comparison between Larsson and Victor Hedman is bound to be made.

Larsson, a Swedish defenseman whose exceptional puck-handling, poise and booming shot will have scouts and general managers considering their options, is the top-rated European prospect on the board.

One European NHL scout from a Western Conference team told that Larsson might be ahead of where Victor Hedman was at the midway point of his draft year two years ago. Hedman was chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the No. 2 pick in 2009.

More people draw the parallel between Larson and Nicklas Lidstrom

The Oilers really need Swedish defenceman Adam Larsson. The 18-year-old, six-foot-three, 210-pounder plays for Skelleftea AK in the Swedish Elite League. Sweden’s national team coach Par Marts swears Larsson is better than Nick Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings was at the same age. Nobody’s saying Larsson is going to win the Norris Trophy six times, but we’re talking today.

"I believe this is so and I coached Nicklas from when he was 16 to 21 years," Marts said when he was in Pittsburgh scouting Oilers forwards Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi for his country’s world championship team.

The Edmonton Oilers site has quite a bit to say about Larsson.

While a significant amount of attention has been focused on the top North American skaters available for the 2011 Entry Draft with Monday's release of NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings, don't count out the possibility of hearing the name Adam Larsson when that first choice is made in June.

Larsson, a Swedish defenseman whose exceptional puck-handling, poise and booming shot will have scouts and general managers considering their options, is the top-rated European prospect on the board.

The ESPN Dallas Star blog takes a look at Larsson, there are a couple of quotes sprinkled in if you care to have a gander.

Positives: Size. Skating. Puck-handling. Solid at even strength and on PP.

Negatives: Would not be at the highest end in offensive skills. Still, dynamic enough to work PP point in the NHL.

Up Next: Sean Couturier