Gustav Forsling

by Tony Carr on January 24, 2017

 Firstling courtesy of the SHL.

Gustav Forsling, D

Shoots: L

Height: 6-0

Weight: 181

Born: 1996-6-12

Hometown: Linkoping, Sweden

Drafted: 2014 by Vancouver Canucks, 126th Overall

 

Observations:

January 2017 – Forsling was sent to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. While he showed flashes of his ability to be a competent NHL defenceman in his first stint with the Blackhawks, it was his inconsistent play that earned him the trip to Rockford. This is fairly typical within the Hawks organization, especially with young defencemen. It’s now up to Forsling to play his way back to the NHL. Tony Carr

 

November 2016 – Forsling has settled in nicely with the Blackhawks, seeing action on the second powerplay unit most nights. Still adapting to the speed of the NHL, the most encouraging stat of his young career is his positive plus/minus. Tony Carr
 

January 2016 – Forsling tallied two goals and an assist in six games for Team Sweden at the recently completed WJHC. He played a big role throughout the tournament for the fourth-place finishers and was a cog on the powerplay. He has returned to the SHL where he continues to impress in his second season with Linkopings, leading the team with a +/- rating of +16. Forsling will be 20 years-old when September rolls around and should have a shot at making the cracking the 2016 Blackhawks lineup. Matt Donohue

 

July 2015 – 2014-15 was a bit of a whirlwind season for Forsling. He played in the SHL as an 18 year-old, flashed in the World Juniors, had his NHL rights traded to Chicago, then suffered a season-ending wrist injury.  As a result, he was unable to fully participate in the Blackhawks’ prospect camp this summer. It will be interesting to see how Forsling rebounds in his sophomore year with Linkoping. Looking ahead, he will remain overseas for the foreseeable future, and will get a chance to shine at this year’s World Juniors as a 19 year-old. Matt Donohue

 

January 2015 – Forsling has been traded to the Blackhawks for Adam Clendening. He is joining a Chicago system that is deep on defense, but Forsling is far enough away that it it impossible to say whether it will effect him. Forsling led all WJC defensemen in scoring, and was excellent on the powerplay. That being said, he has issues on the defensive side of his game and has seen his SHL ice time decline consistently since returning from the WJC. He has a lot more uncertainty than the older rearguard he was traded for, but the upside is tantalizing. It is likely that he will stay in the SHL for another year, unless the Hawks think he will have issues translating his game to the smaller ice. Still at least two or three years away from being a full-time NHL defender. Austin Wallace 

 

December 2014 – Forsling has made a name for himself halfway through the World Junior Championships with his offensive play. A two goal performance in a big game against the Russians on December 29th really got his name out there for those who were not already aware of the crafty d-man. 

The Canucks took a chance on the undersized Forsling in the fifth round (126th overall) in 2014, after gambling on the super-sized Nikita Tryamkin in the third round (66th). It's a smart move by the Canucks brass, rolling the dice on two risky picks who play complete opposite styles. They're banking on one panning out, and will rejoice if they both do.

At the moment, the fifth rounder is definitely the one to own. He was dynamite in pre-tournament play and has only cemented that opinion with four points (2 G - 2 A - plus-2) in three games so far.Playing for his hometown Linkopings HC of the Swedish Hockey League, the 18-year-old has five points in 29 games  (29-3-2-5-8 pims-plus-3) this season. He will continue to grow and get stronger, while earning a bigger role and playing bigger minutes against men before competing for a spot in the NHL.

Forsling is a great skater who is extremely agile. His excellent puck control and above average hockey sense allow him to move the puck up ice. He has a keen sense of timing and his quick feet and good positioning allow him to be an effective defender. As he gets stronger he will only get better in his own zone.  He already shows very advanced technical skills (probably from playing in a mens league) with no wasted movement and attention to detail. It is obvious he is dedicated to his craft and a very focused athlete.

His best work is done with the man-advantage. A natural powerplay quarterback, the young Swede sets everything up with his crisp passing and leadership from the blueline. Like a real QB, Forsling leads his teammates into openings and capitalizes on any holes in the defense. His shot is very accurate and often beats goalies with his placement and timing, rather than a booming clapper. Mike Barrett

 

 

Fantasy Outlook: C+

Forsling has excellent offensive upside, and has already proven himself in a top men's league.

 

 

Footage:

 

 

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