Weight: 161 pounds
Date of birth: August 10, 1999
Hometown: Domsjo, Sweden
OHL Draft: Round 2, 104th overall, CHL Import Draft
After playing last season in what most consider to be Sweden’s second best league, Allsvenkan, against men for Leksands IF, the Barrie Colts selected Tom Hedberg in the second round of the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. In 21 games for IF, Hedberg scored once and added 4 assists. He’s also appeared for Sweden internationally at the Under-16, Under-17, Under-18 and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. In total, he’s played in thirteen international games with six assists in those contests.
During the 2014-2015 season, Hedberg led all defencemen in scoring in the SM U-16 (Slutspel-Damer) with four goals and five assists in eight games.
Hedberg is undersized at 5’11” and just 161 pounds. He’s had some difficulty in the defensive zone, partially due to his lack of size and strength, and partially due to the Colts being a young and rebuilding squad. Being a shut-down defender is not his forte.
Where Hedberg is going to make his bread and butter if he is going to have any success at the National Hockey League level is offensively. Hedberg is an intelligent puck-moving defenceman with a good first pass, but also an ability to skate the puck out of danger and onto the offense. He’s shown a willingness to jump into the attack or to lead the rush. He is a tremendous skater which allows him to do both. He also has high end hockey smarts and very good vision.
It took about a month for Hedberg to get comfortable in the OHL and he started to produce with some regularity. But February went a little south for him. Still, he leads all Colts defenders with 4 goals and 19 assists through 49 games. Ten of his assists have come on the powerplay, which shows one of his strengths is quarterbacking the unit.
Hedberg sits 49th among OHL defenders in scoring. He is also third among rookie OHL defencemen behind Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm (10 goals, 37 assists) and Eemeli Rasanen of the Kingston Frontenacs (6 goals, 26 assists).
Hedberg knows all to well what his weaknesses are and readily admits his size works against him. But to his credit, he’s willing to put in all the work necessary to achieve his goal of playing in the NHL.
Hedberg was ranked 205 on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings in January among North American skaters. If you put any stock into that list, by the time you factor in goaltenders and Europeans, that will leave him outside the 217 players that will be selected in June.
This is the profile page of Tom Hedberg at Elite Prospects