I realized far too late that I blew my chance for a Halloween appropriate Prospect Pulse when I profiled Ben Blood a little too early. Since no team has a Jack O’Lantern in their Top 20 prospects, I went with the Blues’ Lars Eller.
Eller, a Danish product who learned the game in Sweden, was taken 13th overall in last June’s draft. With that selection, the Blues made him the highest drafted Danish born and trained skater. He possesses a North American style game that is sound technically (his father is a former Danish national team member and current Danish Elite League coach) and defensively responsible.
That being said, he is not the 2nd coming of Mats Lindgren, the erstwhile Swedish grinder. Eller is a good playmaker and is adept at finding room to make a play. He has a good touch around the net, but by his own admission he would rather shoot than pass. In his draft year, the Dane put up 18-37-55 in the defense first Swedish junior league and helped his team to the championship.
In addition to the offensive prowess, scouts rave about Eller’s work ethic. He apparently will never give up on a play and can give opposing defensemen fits with his tenacious forecheck. Though I can find scant mention of any weaknesses, Euro hockey websites note that he could improve his play without the puck. Eller is spending this season in Europe in the Swedish junior league, but may see time in the Elite League and will most definitely get some ice with the Danish National team.