The last in the series of Euro prospects this week, Johan Motin is another Swedish defender who is likely close to NHL ready. He has already played half a season in the Swedish Elite League and boasts a steady, mature game at 18 years of age.
Not an overly offensive player, Motin does have a good shot and offensive instincts, but plays more of a solid 2-way game and leans a little to the defensive. He has all the tools that you hear scouts repeat when talking about defenseman that they like: size, strength, mobility, lateral quickness, instincts and hockey sense. What I like specifically is that, based on reports, he is mean.
You can’t really teach someone to be mean, they either are or aren’t. In my estimation, its a very good quality to have if you are a defenseman because chances are at least some of your opposition are fraidy cats. If they know you are mean, you are going to have all kinds of room and time because they won’t come near you. I realize these players become fewer and fewer as the leagues get better, but as we all know, some of these guys make the NHL.
In addition to being mean, Motin plays a simple low risk game and doesn’t give up on any play. He connects on his passes and makes the correct decisions with and without the puck. Though he won’t impress enough to stand out, he may turn into one of those guys whose play you don’t notice, but will nevertheless be an effective player.