LONG ISLAND-BOUND: Kim Johansson
Jul 25, 2007, 2:03 PM EDT
A weekly look at an Islanders' top prospect
Center/WingHeight: 6-1 Weight: 172 Shoots: LeftBorn: January 21, 1988 – Malmo, Sweden 2006-07 Team: Malmo (SWE-Jr)Acquired: Islanders 2006 fifth-round draft pick (141st overall) 2006-07
OverviewJohansson had an excellent year in his third season with Malmo of the J20 SuperElite League in Sweden. His 17 assists and 25 points in 27 games were tops on his team during the regular season. The production was a vast increase from the previous year, which saw Johansson compile four assists and seven points in 24 games.However, Johansson was hoping to play a more physical game this season, but couldn't due to a hand injury that kept him out of team practices to start the season.Malmo's regular season record of 10-11-6 didn't earn them an automatic bid into the playoffs. Malmo eventually received a trip to the postseason after going 10-3-2 in the qualifying round. In 11 qualifying round games, Johansson was 2-3-5 with a +7 rating. In addition, he won 55% of his draws.In the playoffs, Malmo lost in the second round to eventual Champion Frolunda after disposing of Mora in two games in the opening round.
Johansson next traveled to Long Island at the end of June to partake in the Islanders' Prospects Camp for the first time. Having experienced little international competition in the past, Johansson benefited greatly from playing with and against his fellow Islanders prospects. Islanders management was pleased with the way Johansson handled himself against players who were often bigger and stronger. His speed and skill was clearly evident throughout the scrimmages held on the final three days. Johansson transitioned smoothly from his center position in Sweden over to the wing during his stint on Long Island.
What They're Saying...European Scout, Ander Kallur: "I like Kim's progress. He had a tough start with a hand injury that made it difficult for him. He didn't really participate in all the drills earlier in the season. It didn't help Kim that he was lacking physical practice before the season started." What's Next?After three seasons in the J20 league, Johansson will be moving up to pro level. He hopes to make the Malmo team in the Allsvenskan, which is one tier below the Elite League. If he fails to make the cut, he'll drop down a level, but will still be playing against opponents tougher and older than in the J20 League."The key is for Kim to fill out, get stronger and improve from there," said Kallur. "He has good size and is a good skater. Kim is a team player who competes well. Once he develops his game better, he should have more confidence and take on more of a leadership role."
Johansson is a skilled player, who has the potential for being a talented power forward. There are very few European forwards in the NHL, who would be considered role players. Those jobs are usually assigned to the North American players. If Johansson is to crack the Islanders lineup in the future, he'll have to prove he can contribute on one of the top two lines. With continued development and a hard work ethic, there's no stopping Johansson from completing such a task in the future.