Oscar Fisker Molgaard, selected No. 52 overall by the Seattle Kraken, is a 6-foot-0 center who made it to the SHL, one of the top professional leagues in the world, as a 17-year-old.

Quick thoughts on the pick

Initially, this pick struck me as a lower-upside selection for Seattle after placing bets on offense-first wingers with their first two picks in Eduard Sale and Carson Rehkopf. Still slight in frame at this point, Oscar Fisker Molgaard plays the game of a bigger, more mature player. He forechecks hard, defends, and makes intelligent plays all over the ice. Playing a bottom-of-the-lineup role as a teenager in the highly competitive SHL, he did not allow the play to tip in the favor of opponents, registering a +6 rating while he was on the ice.

That said, as I dug in on him, I started to feel there may be a bit more upside here than I originally thought. Fisker Molgaard was No. 52 overall in our analytics ranking, valued highly by analysts tracking microdata (like Scouching) more so than primarily scoring-based models (like the NHLe I ran). But there is something notable about his scoring: Steven Ellis of Daily Faceoff notes Fisker Molgaard’s point output ranks among the top ten over the last ten years for an 18-year-old in the SHL. It’s easy to dismiss Fisker Molgaard’s seven points in 41 SHL games, but it is rare to get as far as he got as young as he did.

In the end, there may be a path to a bottom-six role sooner rather than later for him. And if that is what happens, it is a tremendous pick.

Oscar Fisker Molgaard player profile

Center | HNV71 (SHL) | Age: 18 | Height: 5’11.75″ | Weight: 166 lbs | Left shot

2021-22HV71 Jr.Swe-Jr25358
2022-23HV71 Jr.Swe-Jr2161723
2022-23HV71 JonkopingSweHL41437
Source: HockeyDB

What does the Big Board say?

Fisker Molgaard was ranked at No. 38 on the Sound Of Hockey Big Board. Fisker Molgaard’s highest ranking was No. 23 by Dobber Prospects. Tony Ferrari of The Hockey News (24), Elite Prospects (28), and Smaht Scouting (28) also ranked him like a borderline first-round prospect. Bob McKenzie, often a good indicator of sentiment inside the league, had him ranked right in the range he was ultimately drafted, at No. 51 overall.

How does he look on the ice?

What are scouts saying?

“His forte in an offensive sense [is] carrying and distribution of pucks. He’s been able to adjust to the need for quicker pass releases at higher levels while being a go-to puck marcher and distributor at lower levels. There’s plenty of feistiness in his game and he’s ready to go where it hurts to make plays and retrieve pucks . . . .” – McKeen’s Draft Guide

“Fisker Mølgaard is a highly intelligent, hardworking center who displays an advanced understanding of inside play both offensively and defensively. He’s a strong skater and is constantly in motion, scanning and surveying the ice in front of him. Despite his slight frame, he’s capable of winning puck battles vs. players far bigger and heavier than he is due to his high compete level and tenacity. Though the tools and flashes of playmaking are apparent and intriguing, it’s unclear just how much point production there will be at the NHL. The playmaking can be inconsistent and he doesn’t boast an NHL calibre shot to this point.” – Smaht Scouting

“He’s an exceptionally strong defensive player, with his typical movements – whether it be stick checks, positioning, etc. – looking so simple, yet so effective. Few prospects in this draft understand the nuance of positionally sound defensive play like Mølgaard does. . . . Mølgaard can play on the penalty kill and the power play, but he’s especially effective when his team’s down a man. He keeps it simple, but you’ll be impressed in how he takes away space. And taking that space away is one of his trademarks: he’s a dominant small-area gamer. One that will just get in the way, win battles and set his team up for a scoring chance.” – Steven Ellis

Where can I find more information?

Last thoughts

Fisker Molgaard joins Sale as Kraken draft picks who have already reached elite professional leagues in their draft seasons. This is a good indication that they both bring a professional-level skillset and may be closer to debuting with the NHL club than comparable junior players. On the other hand, both prospects may have been hampered a bit in their draft year by limited roles. Think about how Shane Wright skated in a fourth-line role with Coachella Valley. He may “look good” in a given game, but he had limited opportunities to impact game or (more importantly) develop his skills because of his role.

Sale seems destined for the OHL (or AHL) next season. Fisker Molgaard’s future is less certain. Ideally, he’d get a chance to take on a featured offensive role to see if there is more upside in that portion of his game, but that is unlikely to come in the SHL. If he follows a typical European arc of playing one more year in his current league before jumping to the AHL, it will likely be on a bottom-six path, and we may be left with questions about whether he brings enough offense to be a long-term NHL player.