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Colorado Avalanche Top 25 Under 25: #6 Oskar Olausson

Will he make his NHL debut this season?

Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey staff. Eight writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 1, 2022, in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of value to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.

Selected at 28th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft, hope rests on Oskar Olausson’s shoulders as the top genuine prospect on our list. A big-body winger with an NHL shot, Olausson has already proved he can beat goaltenders at the next level in the handful of preseason games he participated in last season. The anticipation is that Olausson will show well again in this month’s upcoming camps and position himself for a call-up, perhaps as early as this year.

Olausson honed his craft in Sweden where as a draft-eligible player in his 18-year-old season in 2020-21 spent time with the big club HV71 for 16 games. While he only scored four points, he proved that he could hold his own playing against men in the SHL. Unfortunately, HV71 would get relegated to Sweden’s second division and left the question up in the air of where it would be best for the young forward to play in the upcoming season.

After getting claimed by the Barrie Colts of the OHL in the CHL import draft Olausson agreed to cross the pond and begin adjusting to North American hockey and culture. Perhaps junior hockey wasn’t the ideal fit but it allowed him to work on details before playing professional hockey in the AHL. Olausson battled some inconsistencies at times but when he was really dominant as seen with the hat trick posted below. A mid-season trade sent Olausson to the Oshawa Generals to finish out the year which took him some time to readjust again but he added two more hat tricks including a four-goal performance to his resume by the end of the season.

Olausson’s international play was also a big part of his 2021-22 season as he participated in the World Junior Championship twice. The first time in December was canceled after only a couple of games, but Olausson had Sweden’s first goal of the tournament on the board. The completed version just last month saw a solid performance from Oskar with five points in seven games including a power-play goal with his signature shot. Sweden had a difficult time generating offense but was overall successful enough to earn a bronze medal and Olausson was a big part of the team.

In the upcoming season, the expectation is that Olausson will begin his pro career with most likely the Colorado Eagles. He got a taste of action in the AHL after his junior season had concluded and played four games in the playoffs where he scored two points playing all over the lineup. Olausson is already good on the forecheck and had good offensive instincts with that incredible shot of his but still needs to hone some details on playing away from the puck. He should get his opportunity with the Avalanche sooner than later as his game is very reminiscent of Andre Burakovsky and it is not unrealistic for Olausson to achieve that type of ceiling.

2022 Top 25 Under 25

#7: Justus Annunen

#8: Sean Behrens

#9: Jean-Luc Foudy

#10: Sampo Ranta

#11: Martin Kaut

#12: Alex Beaucage

#13: Mikhail Maltsev

#14: Shane Bowers

#15: Colby Ambrosio

#16: Danila Zhuravlyov

#17: Andrei Buyalsky

#18: Matthew Steinburg

#19: Nikolai Kovalenko

#20: Trent Miner

#21: Keaton Middleton

#21: Wyatt Aamodt

#23: Taylor Makar

#24: Nathan Clurman

#25: Ivan Zhigalov